Training Widget

Thursday, December 31, 2009

1460 - And a year of running

Day 365 - December 31, 2009

I'm not going to lie - I enjoyed every stride of my run today. I was grinning ear to ear and counting the miles as I approached 1460 for the year. Yesterday, I was still a little nervous. If you followed my first attempt at 1000 days, you may remember that I got a horrible 24 hour virus on day 365 and failed to get in a run that day. I was so afraid that every sniffle and stomach gurgle was going to do me in yesterday.

But, I made it and now I officially qualify for the United States Running Streak Association membership and listing. I'll be sending my membership application in ASAP!

So, here are the totals for 2009:

Days Run: 365
Total Miles: 1460
Total Time: 189:05:56
Average Pace: 7:46

I hope everyone had a great 2009 and best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year 2010! Thank you to everyone who followed along this year, posted comments, and offered their support. I hope you'll be back in 2010 as I work towards 730 and on to 1000!

Heading out for 365

This is it - once I get out the door, this will officially be my longest streak ever! Three miles to 1460!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another good run

Day 363 - December 29, 2009

Cranked out another 7 miles today - that leaves just 7 more to 1460! It took me a few miles to warm up, but the last 4 felt great.

Monday, December 28, 2009

3 days to 365

Day 362 - December 28, 2009

With three days to go, 1460 is only 14 miles away! When I make it, I'll have to raise the bar for 2010.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Day 359 - December 25, 2009

Just a quick note after my Christmas morning 2 mile run. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season and are able to find time to burn off a few of those Christmas Cheer calories. Thanks for following along this year and for all the encouragement. Eight more days to close out the year and start year two of the streak.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Just what I needed...

...another excuse to hit the snooze button. Thanks to ACE over at The Longest Run for first tipping me off to a study that shows exercise is better in the afternoon. Now I don't feel so bad about not getting out of bed this morning - well at least a little bit better.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I never would have thought

Day 355 - December 21, 2009

...The roads would be worse two days after the blizzard than they were the day it snowed. Man is it icy. I guess it is a good core workout trying to keep your balance. At least I didn't fall today.

I wish someone from Pennsylvania would come down here and teach these southerners how to plow. You do in fact have to drop the plow down to the road. Leaving two inches of snow on the road only makes it worse.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Today was harder than yesterday

Day 354 - December 20, 2009

No plows yet anywhere near here today, so that meant another snow covered road run today. Yesterday, the snow was deep, but fresh enough that traction really wasn't an issue. Today, with cabin fever setting in around the neighborhood, lots of people tried to get out and about. All that accomplished was the snow packed down and iced over. I was slipping and sliding all over the place. Fortunately I only fell once and luckily I even had an audience to witness it. I'm sure they thought I was crazy to be out running when they clearly were not enjoying shoveling their driveways.

Two feet of snow was a nice novelty, but I'm ready for some melting.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Running in snow

Day 353 - December 19, 2009

I mean deep snow. To get out to the road, I had to wade through knee deep snow. Fortunately, when I got up to the road, there were a few tire tracks from a few foolish brave souls who ventured out earlier in the day.

As long as I could stay in the tracks, the snow was only 4-6 inches deep. Enough to cover my running shoes, but not too bad. The trouble came when I would slip and step into the untouched snow and have snow over my knees.

The run wasn't too bad and I had no traffic to worry about. I took my time and slipped and slid for 3.3 miles. I saw a few people while I was running. Some shouted encouraging words about dedication and others called me names that I probably shouldn't type. One guy even stopped because he assumed my car was stuck somewhere. I thought that was a nice gesture even if he was less than impressed that I was out just for fun. Hopefully by tomorrow some plows will make it out this way, but I'm not holding my breath.

Today is going to be interesting

For those of you who may have seen a weather map, VA is getting pounded by snow (by VA standards anyway). Currently there are 15-20 inches of white powder on the ground and we are probably going to get another 6-12 inches today. Crazy.

For those of you who are used to snow, I should point out that VA has about 5 snow plows for the entire state. I'm not expecting clear roads for at least a couple of days. I have no idea how I'm going to run in snow this deep, but I'm going to give it a shot. For you northern runners, what do you do when you get this much snow?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Back on pace - Bring on 1460

Day 348 - December 14, 2009

I've posted many times about my desire to get to 1460 miles this year. That would be an average of 4 miles per day for the entire year. Back in August I realized was 30 miles behind where I needed to be to make that happen. To close the gap, I started adding a quarter or half mile to each run where I could and threw in some longer runs on the weekend. Tonight, I finally wiped out the last of those 30 miles and have brought my daily average back up to 4/day. I'm totally psyched - just 17 days to go I'm confident I can make it. Keep your fingers crossed that I can stay healthy and make it through the holiday madness to find the time I need to run.

The other thing I wanted to let you know is the running group is still going strong. Tonight we had 5 runners and 4 of us put in 5 or more miles.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More meteors - Geminid Shower

Day 347 - December 13, 2009

I have to say I wasn't at all excited about running tonight. It has been raining all day and by the time my wife returned home to take over kid duty, the fog had rolled in and it was thick. But, around 8:30 I finally laced up the Asics and ventured out into the pea soup. I was about 10 minutes into the run when a warm breeze came up. A warm breeze in December sounds a bit contradictory, but it was a good 10-20 degrees warmer than the still air and the fog literally vanished in front of my eyes. And that's when my mood changed.

Once the fog and clouds were gone, I had the most amazing view of the night sky. As I was watching the stars, the first meteor shot across the sky. It seemed like it went from one horizon to the other. A few minutes later, another flash of light and then another. I'd guess I saw at least 20 shooting stars in the 40 minutes I was running. It was cool. The excitement of each streak of light was enough to keep me going and I actually ended up running almost two miles further than I had planned.

The really awesome thing is that if it weren't for this running streak, I'd never have seen them. I'd have been sitting on the couch, watching a football game or surfing the web. There's no way I would have been out running. I hope there are many more cool surprises awaiting me as I run towards 1000 days.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Where'd the week go?

Day 346 - December 12, 2009

It has been a crazy week with sick kids, dance recitals, water heaters leaking, and lots of holiday planning, but I'm happy to say I still managed to log 31 miles this week. That gives me 1381 miles for the year and with 19 days remaining I still have a good shot at hitting 1460.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Charlottesville Men's Four Miler

Day 339 - December 5, 2009

Well, it wasn't exactly ideal racing conditions this morning. The temperature was about 38 and it was pouring rain. But, I had to run anyway right?

I ran a little over mile to warm up and my rain gear did a pretty good job of keeping me dry, but for the race I wanted to lose the baggy pants and jacket. It wasn't too bad at the start, but it was raining pretty hard. I inched up to about 10 rows from the start and was surprised when the gun went off that I didn't find myself wishing I had started closer to the front. I tried to hold back a little at the start, but hit the half mile split exactly on the 6:15 pace I was hoping to finish the race in. I guess that is better than being 20 seconds ahead of pace.

At the half mile point I started working my way up through the pack and reached the first mile mark in 5:58. Much quicker than I expected, bu I was feeling good.

And then the snow started.

I finished the race in the snow/rain mix by hitting the half way mark in 12:10 and the third mile in 18:25. The last mile was a struggle to maintain my pace, but I held on for a 6:20 last mile and final time of 24:45. After catching my breath I walked back onto the course and cheered on many friends who ran either their first or fastest 4 milers today. I have to say it got pretty cold waiting for them to finish.

The race organizers did a great job with the race and made the smart call to cancel the awards ceremony. I have no idea what my overall place was, but I assume it was a top 30 performance. The results should be online in the next day or so and I'll post an update. But, my unofficial 24:45 was 15 seconds faster than my goal time of 25 minutes. I thought I'd get to use the weather as an excuse - now I've ruined any chance of using it in the future. If I can run a good race today, I can't really anticipate worse weather for a race.

UPDATE: Official results put me in 23 place overall in 24:45. That was good enough for third place in my age group - Nice!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

And the rains keep coming

Day 336 - December 2, 2009

We were three for another group run in the pouring rain. Even I have to admit that tonight was miserable and this rain thing is getting old. But we all got in at least three miles and I can check another day off.

Monday, November 30, 2009

November comes to an end

Day 334 - November 30, 2009

The running streak is officially 11 months old and one-third of the way to 1000 days! After 11 months of running every day, I have logged 1330 miles and run for 172 hours, 22 minutes and 9 seconds.

Today was a rainy run with the running group. We were three strong again but we lost two today because of the rain. I felt surprising well considering the weather and had one of my better 5 mile times.

I also signed up for the Charlottesville Men's 4 miler this weekend. I've run this race in the past, but the last couple of years I've missed due to scheduling conflicts. I'm excited to get back out for it this year. After last week's Turkey Trot, I've got sub 25 minutes in the back of my mind, but 25:30 is probably more likely.

I also received the official press release that the Charlottesville Marathon has gone to a flatter and hopefully much faster course this year. I'm flirting with the idea of signing up...hmmmm. I've got a decent base of runs in and 4 and a half months to prepare....hmmmm. I'm going to have to think about this one for a few days.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I love the long run, but . . .

Day 332 - November 28, 2009

Going into the weekend I knew I was behind on my monthly mileage and I was going to need to step it up. Thursday, I logged almost 6 miles at the Turkey Trot, Friday was another 4.5, and today I laced up the Asics and pounded out 12.5 miles. I love long runs. I love the challenge. I love the solitude. I love being dead tired when I finish. What I don't like...chafing. I tried to protect myself with strategically placed band-aids, but I wasn't prepared for the arm-pit rub caused by my shirt. I'll have to wear a better fitting shirt next time.

Those 23 miles in the last three days put me at 33 for the week and 122 for the month. With 33 days left in the year, I need just 140 miles to reach my goal of 1460 for the year. If December were a normal month I'd say it was a done deal, but the busyness of the holidays may keep me from logging enough miles. I'll just keep plugging away and see where the road leads.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Trot

Day 330 - November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone got out to run this morning before the parades and eating festivities begin. I started the day at the first annual Earlysville Turkey Trot 5K and kids half mile. I convinced my girls this would be a fun way to start Thanksgiving. Both girls came with me and they did great - they even showed a little competitiveness passing some other kids in the last 100 meters.

As for me, I'm pretty pleased with my performance. I ran my fastest 5K of the year, in 19:22 (unofficial watch time). I placed 6th overall, and 1st in my age group. I felt pretty good right up until the last hill at 2.5 miles. What a nasty place to put a hill. I have to admit that I probably gave up a few seconds there.

For a first year race, it went pretty well. The race directors were completely overwhelmed with the registration and sign in, but to be fair, they only anticipated ~90 runners. Everyone was surprised when more than 275 people showed up. I'll plan on running it again next year and hopefully my girls will too.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Still here

Day 328 - November 24, 2009

Just wanted to post to say that I am still running, but it feels like it has been really hard to get any miles the last few days. I did sign up for a 5K that I will be running Thursday morning, so maybe the lighter than usual miles will make that race special. I'll post my result on Thursday afternoon.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Surprise after dark

Day 324 - November 20, 2009

Tonight was another one of those nights where I didn't feel like running. It was late, I wasn't feeling particularly energetic, and the temperature was dropping with every hour I delayed.

The skies were crystal clear tonight and with the shallow crescent moon, the stars were very bright. As I ran along, I looked up through the leafless trees and admired the few constellation I can identify. Then I saw something out of the corner of my eye. At first, I assumed it was just the lights playing tricks on me as it filtered through the branches. Once, twice, and even a third time. I was starting to believe they were meteors, but the Leonids were earlier this week.

Then, right in front of me, above the road in unobstructed sky, a meteor streak appeared as far as I could see. Definitely one of the longest ones I've ever seen. It definitely made the run worth it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Seven Miles on Dickerson

Day 320 - November 16, 2009

After work tonight, I took advantage of the warmer than normal temperatures and logged 7 miles on Dickerson Road. Dickerson is a great place to run but has many challenging hills. The toughest comes between miles 4.5 and 6 where you gain 200 feet of elevation climbing from the river back up to the top of the research park. The hill isn't that steep, but steadily climbs for all but maybe 200 yards of that mile and half. For me, that equates to nearly 10 solid minutes of climbing. Mentally, that's a little challenging for me, but I love the endurance benefit.

I normally wouldn't run that far so soon after a 9 mile run but yesterday I was only able to squeeze in 2 miles. That meant a longer run tonight to get my weekly average back up to where it needs to be to get to 1460 by December 31. Hopefully I won't be too sore tomorrow.

The group did meet tonight and three other runners joined me for at least part of the run. I think two of the guys ran 3 miles each, while the 4th, a beginning runner, ran a mile. I find it so much easier to get out and run when I know others are waiting for me. As you all know, the hardest part of any run is usually just getting out the door.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Capping off a rough week

Day 318 - November 14, 2009

This was a tough week for running. Wednesday through Friday were miserable. It was cold, raining, and the wind was blowing 30+ miles an hour. On Thursday, it was actually blowing so hard that the tailwind was pushing me down the road. that wouldn't be so bad, except, that was on the way out of an out and back run!

All of that made today's 9 miler that much sweeter. There was no wind or rain, and warmer temperatures returned to the 60's. I felt pretty good and the miles clicked away quickly. That run today pushed my weekly total up to 32 getting me that much closer to my goal of 1460 for the year.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

45 Degrees, pouring rain, and heavy wind

Day 315 - November 11, 2009

I was sitting down to right about how miserable it was to run in the cold wind and rain today and then I remembered the date. I guess suffering for 36 minutes out on a run is a pretty insignificant thing compared to the sacrifices our veterans. So, instead, I'm just going to say thanks to those who have served and fought for our freedoms. I know it isn't much, but know that I am truly grateful for all that you have given up so that I did not have to.

Monday, November 9, 2009

M/W group run

Day 313 - November 9, 2009

The Monday/Wednesday running group was back out tonight. We had three runners who ran three different distances. I like that we aren't letting abilities keep anyone from coming out. It is all about holding each other accountable to running and encouraging our running success. I ran the normal 5 mile route and still felt a little sluggish after Saturday's race. I'll take it a little easier tomorrow and then hopefully crank out a good run on Wednesday.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fall Foilage 5K

Day 311 - November 7, 2009

Today was the Fall Foilage 5k trail run at the Blue Ridge School. All I can say is I forgot how much harder cross country is than road running. What a course. Not only were there two stream crossings, but there was also a hill so steep that I doubt many cars would have been able to make the climb. It was so fun, they had us run it twice.

I got out with the lead group of runners and we hit the first stream crossing as a group. The first three all tried for the same rock and ended up ankle deep in water. Being older (I was going to say wiser)and a bit less willing to be wet the entire race, I took a slightly longer approach to the stream and made it across dry. The group stayed together until we reached the hill. The first 30 yards are like climbing out of a stream bank - I'm talking steep and the third place runner just stopped to walk. I felt pretty good the first time up the hill and managed to work into second place and was gaining on the leader by the time we reached the summit. After that, he destroyed me on the downhill.

The race was pretty uneventful after that - I did make a challenge to close the gap on the second time up the hill, but I think the leader was just taking it easy because I never saw him again after he crested the hill. I held on to finish second, comfortably in front of third place.

I've only run this race one other time and that year I finished in 4th place in 22:17. Today I was a bit faster in 21:40, but they did extend the course, so pace wise I think I was even faster.

It was a fun morning and the weather was beautiful for November. I look forward to running it again next year.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It gets dark so fast

Day 309 - November 5, 2009

I tried to beat the sunset tonight and ran after work. Starting at 5:10, I thought for sure I could finish before dark. Not even close. Not a big deal, except I didn't have my flashlight or a reflective jacket. I'll be sure to take them with me next week.

Today's run - 6.25 miles 0:47:20

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

No running group

Day 308 - November 4, 2009

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later - no one could make the running group tonight. I think the chili cook off we had at lunch may have been a contributing factor. With no one to run with I just came home and ran in the neighborhood. That gave me a couple of extra hours to digest all that chili. Hopefully next week we'll be back as a group.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A streak ends

Not mine, but Ace's streak over at The Longest Run has come to an end at 666 consecutive days. From what I've read, it was a back injury that prevented him from getting in his next run.

If you have a minute, take a look at his blog and wish him well on his recovery and congratulate him for running every day for almost two years.

I look forward to Day 1 of his next streak.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Running Group

Day 306 - November 2, 2009

Three of us again tonight. I ran the 5 mile out and back to Chris Greene Lake, and the others ran 3 miles to the guard shack. My left leg was really sore and I have no idea what I could have done to it. My quad muscle felt like I had done about 1000 squats. Hopefully it is nothing serious and I won't even notice it in a few days.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Day 304 - October 31, 2009

Tonight I ran with the Trick or Treaters. I had plans to run a long run early in the day, but time got away from me and I was forced to find time after dark this evening. I decided I would run at least 2 miles and go from there. Sometimes, that is the best plan, because everyone knows, the first step is the toughest. Once you are out on the road, it is much easier to keep going. Tonight's two mile run ended up being just short of 6.

So, as the 10th month of the streak comes to an end, I figured I'd give my monthly update. For the month, I ran 127.5 miles. Not quite the 130 I was hoping for, but better than 4/day. With 2 months to go, I need to average 131/month to get to 1460. With the holidays, that is going to be tough, but I'm not giving up on that yet.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Another group run

Well sort of. There were two of us who started together today, but that is where the group part ended. I decided to take advantage of the 70 degree day and crank out 7 miles while T, who is just getting back to running, went for 3 miles. He of course, was finished and gone before I got back.

The remainder of the week is going to be tough to get in many miles, but I'm going to do my best to get to 30 this week. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 300

October 27, 2009

Congratulations to all the runners who started streaks on Jan 1, 2009. Today is day 300. I marked today with a short run in the rain.

So far this year I have run 1180 miles in 153:06:43. I never really thought about it, but that is over 6 days worth of running!

With a little over 2 months remaining in the year, I am still 20 miles behind where I need to be to average 4 miles a day. I'm going to keep pushing and hopefully I'll get there.

On to 400.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The group runs seem to be all I write about

Day 299, October 26, 2009

Our group size seems to be stuck at three. Today, the group was a repeat of last Monday's group. My long time running friend, RR, joined B and I again today for 5 miles out to Chris Greene Lake and back. I felt pretty strong today and finished in just under 35 minutes. I was going to try and run a little longer today, but RR was ready to be done at 5 miles and I decided to stop with him. I'll stretch it out a little on Wednesday.

I don't know about where you are, but the fall leaves are right at peak here in central VA and it is awesome running in all that color. I hope everyone is enjoying the fall running.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another group run

Day 294 - October 21, 2009

There was another group run today and our numbers increased to four! We had two new runners today and yet again, B and I were the only repeat runners. It was a gorgeous afternoon for a run - 80 degrees, no wind or humidity, and bright warm sun. There won't be many more days like this before the cold weather sets in for the winter. Glad I could run with friends and check off another day.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 3 - work running group

Day 292 - October 19, 2009

Today was the third meeting of the lunch running group - but we ran after work today instead of at lunch. We've had three people run each day, but so far only two of us have run each time. I ran the five mile route again today and was accompanied by an old running friend that I invited to join our group.

No drama today and my inner jackass was contained :) Just a great fall day for a run.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I really didn't want to run today

Day 290 - October 17, 2009

Tonight was one of those days where I really had to force the miles. Earlier in the day I went on a 4+ mile hike and my legs were not feeling fresh. I really should have run before the hike.

I decided to just do a slow 2 miles and mark off another day on the streak. Tomorrow will be better.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 2 of the Lunch Running Group

Day 287 - October 14, 2009

Day 2 of the Lunch Running Group (LRG) may become known as the day the Old Bald Guy (OBG) showed the young guy why you don't exaggerate your running pace. Let me explain.

When we first decided to start the running group, one of the young guys at work, asked what pace we would run. I explained that it was really about just getting out together and everyone would run at a comfortable pace. Some of the guys would be in the 8-9 minute/mile range, and I would be running 7:40ish/mile.

You know how 90% of communication is non-verbal. Well, even though this kid nodded that he understood, everything else said "I CANT BELIEVE THESE GUYS ARE SO SLOW". So we asked him how fast he runs, and after he puffed out his chest, he informed us that he runs 6 minute miles.

Now, I'm not saying this kid isn't in good shape, but 6 minute miles is pretty darn fast. And to top it off, he wasn't talking race pace. He claimed he runs that for a 5 mile training run. That would pretty much put him in the top 1% of all local runners. Sensing that this might be a bit faster than he can really run, I was looking forward to testing him - yes, as you probably guessed from the photo at the top of the blog, I am the OBG.

I am no where near averaging 6 minute miles for a training run, and I doubt I could maintain that pace for even a 5K. I think the last 5K I ran averaged 6:25/mile. So I certainly wasn't going to run 5 miles in 30 minutes, but I let everyone know at the beginning of the run that I would be doing the 5 mile route again today and anyone who wanted to join me was welcome. The trap was set - hehehe.

We all started together, and the young guy jumped out to a quick lead. For the first 100 meters, I thought maybe I was about to get smoked and that I had really misjudged him. But I quickly pulled up on his shoulder, and within the first quarter of a mile, I was running stride for stride. I told him where the route I was running led and mentioned that if I was holding him back, he should go on ahead. With a grin, he thanked me for not expecting him to run my pace.

Those of you who know me, know that I'm kind of like Michale J Fox in Back to the Future. Just as he couldn't let it go when someone called him chicken, I can't let some young punk, who thinks he's way faster than he is, get away with being that cocky. It is my duty, as an OBG, to show him the error of his ways. Even if I hurt myself trying.

As we continued on to the half mile point, I matched every surge, step for step. We still were running much slower than 6 minute miles. In fact, I'd be surprised if we were even faster than 7 minute pace at this point. Definitely faster than I would normally run, but I was confident I could maintain that pace for the full 5 miles. At 3/4 of a mile (notice, we're still really early in the run) we turned the corner and started up the first hill. I noticed the young guy's breathing was getting quite labored, and I did my best to hide any discomfort I was feeling. At one point I may have even been holding my breath so it wouldn't sound like I was struggling. The harder he was breathing, the faster I ran up the hill. I just couldn't help myself. My inner jackass had taken over.

At 1 mile, I turned right headed for the park, and continued to maintain my pace. I turned to say something to the young guy and he wasn't there...what? Where'd he go? Did he really give up after only a mile? It turns out he went left at the top of the hill. I guess he didn't want me slowing him down :)

I finished the run in 33:50 for a solid sub 7 minute pace which I was really happy about and I'd be lying if I didn't admit I was feeling pretty cocky myself that I had out run a 6 minute mile guy*.

I really don't know why people feel the need to exaggerate their running times. There is nothing to be gained by it. Neither of us is going to make any money as a professional runner. I'm much more impressed with a 9 minute miler who has a great run and finishes in 8 minute miles than a runner who doesn't come within a minute of their "average" pace. I'm more impressed with the guy who is out there running because he wants to be healthier or the guy who completes their first race. Bragging about embellished running times only lasts until you actually run with the people you are trying to impress. Maybe he figured I'd be so far back, I'd never know that he wasn't as fast as he said. Maybe he really doesn't know how fast 6 minute pace is. Maybe he just had a bad day. I don't know. I guess we'll see next week if/when he runs with us on Monday.

* - sarcasm - its not just for breakfast.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lunch time run

Day 285 - October 12, 2009

My coworkers and I have formed a lunchtime running group that is going to run together on Mondays and Wednesday. I'm really excited that this will allow us to run in the daylight through the fall and winter months. Our abilities are quite varied, but we will start together each day and go from there. Today there were three of us and we chose an out and back course where we each turned around at a different distance. The faster runners ran further, and the guys just starting their running ran a shorter course. It worked out pretty well. Hopefully we will get a few more people out on Wednesday and we can hold each other accountable to getting those two runs in a week. I also think we will try and run some races together later in the fall and train for a longer race in the spring. I'll try and post updates as we go along and let you know how we are progressing.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Day 280 - 1100 miles

Day 280 - October 6, 2009

A rather uneventful run that took me over 1100 miles for the year. I've had near perfect weather to run the last week or so and I am loving it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Finding Time

Day 278 - October 5, 2009

The biggest excuse I hear about not exercising is not having enough time. With a running streak, excuses don't cut it. You have to find time. Finding time has not been as hard as I thought it might be. Tonight was a good example.

Monday nights are dance class night, which means I get to take my daughter to class and wait around 45 minutes for the class to end. Normally I take my laptop, surf the web, and generally waste time. Today, I decided I would use the time for my run. 45 minutes is plenty of time to get a 4 mile run finished and be back in plenty of time for the class to end.

I've found plenty of times when I thought the day was too busy, but, when I got past the excuses, there was always time to run. Exercising everyday is really just a matter of making the choice to do it. What are you going to choose?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Another Long Run

Day 276 - October 3, 2009

Today was a great day for a long run. Not wanting to miss the opportunity, I chose a 12.5 mile out and back course along the base of the mountain. The miles clicked by pretty quickly and if it weren't for some nagging aches and pains, it would have been a perfect run. A couple of time I thought about cutting it short, but since the pains didn't get any worse, I decided to push on. Getting the long run in gave me 30 miles for the week and keeps me on pace for hitting my goal for the year.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

9 months and 273 days complete

Day 273 - September 30, 2009

Another month complete and I finished September with 125 miles to give me 1070 for the year. I'm a little nervous about October. The flu is ravaging this area - a nice mix of H1N1 and the regular variety. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my kids won't bring it home, but I'm not optimistic. I'm going to do my best to at least get that mile in, even if I do come down with something, but I remember how hard it hit me in 2008 when it crushed my first streak.

Until then, I'll keep logging miles, washing my hands, and getting lots of vitamin C. I hope all the other streak runners can stay healthy too.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rainy Day Run

Day 269 - September 26, 2009

A light rain has been falling all day and shows no signs of letting up. With no hope of avoiding it, I decided to get it over with. Six miles later, I'm glad I got it in. Bring on tomorrow and sunnier skies.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Seven Miles after work

Day 266 - September 23, 2009

Only 99 days to finish the first year of the current streak and break the old record of 364 days! I have to admit, as the amount of daylight each day gets shorter and shorter, I'm finding it harder to be excited about running. I just don't enjoy running in the dark and lately I've been doing a lot of late evening runs. Running in the morning has been tough to do with the sun coming up later and later each day. I've been telling myself I'll run at lunch or right after I get home, but inevitably, something comes up and it is after 8 pm before I get out the door.

Tonight, I wanted to run at least 5 miles and I knew that probably wasn't going to happen if I waited until after dinner, so I took my clothes and shoes to work so that I would run before coming home. Turned out to be a good idea and I ended up running just over 7 miles. I'm going to try and do this more often on Wednesdays, at least until daylight savings time ends.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Good weekend of running

Day 263 - September 20, 2009

The weather was pretty nice this weekend and I was able to work in two good runs this weekend. Saturday, I mapped out a 10 mile run and was looking forward to a long run. Note to self: don't believe everything you see on Google Maps. I mapped out a run that was supposed to start on Fredericksburg Road and turn west onto South River Road. Well, after running on that first road for much longer than I had expected, I came to a road that I knew was after South River Road. Now what do I do? I decided to just go with it look for an intersection somewhere near the 40 minute mark and then turn around. That worked out as I came to a crossroads at 40 minutes and 40 seconds. Nice. On the way back, I paid extra attention to see where I missed South River Road. Turns out, I didn't. The road doesn't actually connect to Fredericksburg Road. I'm just glad I wasn't running it from the other direction and end up at a dead end only a mile from where I planned to finish. I think I'll do a quick drive of the route next time I plan to do a loop I haven't run before. In the end, the run mapped out at 10.7 miles so all was fine.

Today, I gave my legs a break and just put in a relatively easy 4.2 mile recovery run. It was one of my favorite runs and it felt good to get out and loosen up.

I'll close today with a quick update on my YTD progress. I am currently on pace for 1430 miles which would be a personal best for a year. I think there is still a chance I can get to 1460 and average 4 miles per run for the year.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

13 Years of Running and a lot of miles

Day 259 - September 16, 2009

According to my running log, I have now run over 14,000 miles in my lifetime. I'm pretty anal when it comes to my record keeping and I have running logs for 13 different years from 1990 - 2009 where I've recorded my times and distances. From 1992-1998, college and grad school got in the way of my running and I didn't run enough to bother logging my mileage. I doubt I ran 50 miles in those 6 years, so I don't count those years. I also know that I didn't log my miles the first year I ran in high school, which was 1989, but I doubt that amounted to even 400 miles in the 4 months of training.

Being a perspective guy, I needed some frame of reference for what 14,000 miles equates to. The first thing I thought of was in relation to the Earth's circumference. That was cool and all, but I'm no where near the 29,000 miles needed to get around the equator. But I could start in Moscow, run due east on the 56th parallel and end up where I started. That's pretty cool, but kind of like saying you can run all the way around the earth in less than 5 minutes when you are at the north pole.

Then I got the idea, what about the moon. I had no idea what the circumference of the moon was, so I Googled, and wikipedia had my answer. It turns out the distance around the moon is 6,786 miles. My 14,000 miles is enough to run all the way around the moon, TWICE!! That sounds way more awesome. So, that's what I'll be telling my friends tomorrow. I think they'll be really impressed - or they may just think I'm a bigger dork than they previously realized.

Either way, I think it is pretty cool that I can say I've run 14000 miles lifetime and I look forward to getting to 15000 in another 9 months or so. If you have the records, check and see what your lifetime totals are and let me know what that equates to. Then drop me a comment - I'd love to see what everyone has done.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weather so nice I had to run twice

Day 256 - September 13, 2009

I was enjoying a lazy Sunday morning today, so instead of going for a long run like I had planned, I stayed in bed an extra hour and settled for a 4 mile run on a crystal clear morning. It was really a great morning for a run and had we not needed to get ready for church, I'm sure I would have stayed out and run at least twice that.

After church, I mowed the lawn and sat down to log my run. That was when it hit me. I was only 4.5 miles shy of 1000 for the year. As the sun was going down, the temperatures were still hovering near perfect and I just couldn't let 1000 sit there just out of reach. So I laced up the Asics and was back out the door. It felt great knowing I got in the extra miles and I reached a key milestone.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lunch time run

Day 251 - September 8, 2009

The plan was to run before work today, but when the alarm went off and it was pouring rain, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I don't mind running in the rain, but I don't feel all that safe running in the rain in the dark. Around here the roads are just too narrow and people drive too fast.

I took my shoes and some running clothes to work and made time to run at lunch. Fortunately, no one scheduled any "working" lunch meetings and I had an hour of "free" time. I mapped out a quick 5 mile out and back route on gmap-pedometer, and I was off. The route was one of those run to the top of the hill, go down the other side, turn around and come back. Not a lot of flat space, but it was good to get in some sustained climbs. I finished the run in ~40 minutes which gave me 20 minutes to shower and change and be back to work. Not bad.

I like that the streak forces me to find creative ways to get my run in. It would have been really easy to blow off today with it raining, but I hate excuses. If I can find time to run everyday, so can anyone else. I hate when people tell me they are too busy to exercise. Are they really that much more busy that I am or is it about the choices we make?

Monday, September 7, 2009

A day of strange coincidences

Day 250 - September 7, 2009

Talk about strange - First, as I was preparing to write today's post about my 250th run of my attempt at 1000 straight days, I noticed that today's date is September 7th. Why is that strange? Well, if you recall, my first attempt to run 1000 days began on September 7, 2007.

The second coincidence of the day occurred right after that. I was going to write about how sore my legs were today and how I figured it was the result of lactic acid from Saturday night's tough 6.5 mile tempo run. As I logged into my computer, I noticed a new post was up over at Just Your Average Joggler. For those of you who don't know Perry, he is a joggler (think running + juggling) who has started a streak of joggling everyday for 1000 days. Perry also writes articles on nutrition and running science. Today, his post was all about the myth of lactic acid.

Most runner's have probably heard that exercise at a high intensity, leads to lactic acid build-up which impacts performance and causes muscle soreness. I've been told this for years by coaches, Runner's World magazine, and fellow runners. It was just the way it was. Our coaches even encouraged us to run right at the edge of our aerobic threshold to keep our lactic acid levels down. Now this Perry guy is telling me that we've all got it wrong.

Perry's post was based on this article from the New York Times which claims that lactic acid is really a fuel our cells use for energy. I won't go into all the scientific details here, but if you are interested, check out the work of Dr. George Brooks at UC Berkley. Thanks Perry for the post and the link.

Since I mentioned the first attempt at 1000 days, I figure this is a good place to compare streaks. The first time I reached 250 days, I had run 840 miles in a little over 103 hours of running. Not too bad, 3.36 miles per day. This time around, I've run 978 miles in 127 hours. Just 22 miles short of averaging 4 miles per day. I'm really pleased with my progress and hope to keep it going and make up those 22 miles by the end of the year. Be sure to check back and see how I'm doing.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Just a regular run

Day 249 - September 6, 2009

Many times I think I should only post if something strange happens or I do a run that is faster or longer than my average run. But really, when you try and run 1000 straight days, the vast majority of the runs just end up being, well, not very exciting. Today was one of those normal days that simply gets me one day closer to the goal. But as far as the streak is concerned, it is just as important as every other run that has gotten me to this point and all the runs to come.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A good week

Day 248 - September 5, 2009

After last week's bee sting derailed my mileage, I am glad I was able to put in solid runs this week. I finished the week with 33 miles, which is the best I've done since April. I expect I'll drop a little this week, but I hope I can keep the momentum. I'm pretty psyched for this to be my highest mileage year.

Friday, September 4, 2009

And then the hot water tank sprung a leak

Day 247 - September 4, 2009

Friday, 5:00pm, time to go home and get in my daily run. I found my carpool friend and we were out the door for a long weekend. As I pull into his driveway, his wife greets us with the great news that the hot water heater is leaking all over their basement. Oooo - that isn't good.

I couldn't bring myself to leaving him on his own to fix that, so I volunteered to help. We got the water shut off, I went home and changed my clothes and three and a half hours and two trips to Lowes later we had the new heater in place and they were good to go. I have to admit I felt pretty good about helping a friend.

Were it not for the streak, that would have been the end of my day. But, I still needed to run. No heroic stories of running 10 miles in the dark, I simply put in my minimum 2 mile run and chalked up another day. I hope when I get to 1000 I'll remember days like today and be proud that I ran anyway, even at the end of a very long day.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Late evening run under a full moon

Day 246 - September 3, 2009

So not being able to find my key this morning and missing my window of opportunity to run didn't turn out so bad. Had I run this morning, I was only going to try and get 3-4 miles before heading to my breakfast meeting. Instead, I ran this evening, which was another perfect weather night, under the full moon, and was able to log another 4.8 mile run. It is good to be home, but it was nice to be able to run without the pressures of family obligations for the few days while I was away.


So I missed my opportunity to run this morning before work. Why you ask???

Because I am a fool. I've been out of town on a business trip all week and today is check out day. I figured I'd get up early, get in a few miles, pack up, and leave. Great plan, right?

Well, I spent 30 minutes this morning looking for my hotel room key. I looked everywhere. I unpacked every bag, suitcase, and box. I tore the bed apart. I looked in the trash. You know where I didn't look? Yep, in the pocket of the running shorts I was wearing. Yes, my head is hanging in shame right now.

I have no idea when I picked it up and put it in there, but it must have been early. At least I can still run tonight after the girls go to bed.

Hope you got a smile out of my foolishness - Have a great day.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Almost back to normal size

Day 245 - September 2, 2009

My ankle swelling is just about gone and I don't think I had any itching today. It was another gorgeous afternoon and I had to take advantage. Normally after a 7 mile run I would back off for a day and go easy, but this weather isn't going to last forever. I picked another 5 mile route today that gave me two miles on wooded trails. It is really nice to get off the street once in awhile. Its definitely harder running on the crushed gravel, but it makes you stronger and gives a break from the pounding. I wish i could do it more often.

September Begins

Day 244 - September 1, 2009

Another gorgeous day and I took advantage. With no humidity and only 75 degrees at 4:30, I went out for a nice 7 mile run. That's a good start to the month and they are predicting more nice weather on Wednesday. If everyday was like today, running streaks would be more common.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Close, but didn't make it

Day 243 - August 31, 2009

Well, maybe I was a big sissy, but after getting stung on Saturday night, and having my ankle turn into a swollen softball, I cut back my mileage to make sure I didn't do more damage. While it didn't really hurt, it looked like I had suffered a major sprain. Yesterday was actually pretty tough to run with all that swelling.

Today was better. I stayed off my feet most of the day and the swelling went down a little. I went out for a nice run this afternoon, in the much more seasonable temperatures, and didn't really notice it. Since it felt better, I stayed out for about 45 minutes and ran just under 6 miles. So I ended the month with 116 miles, 8 shy of where I wanted to be. At least now I have a goal for September.

Today also brings me to the conclusion of my 8th month of running everyday this year. For the year I have completed 945 miles. I've run at least 100 miles every month. Here are the monthly totals:
Jan - 102.2
Feb - 113.8
Mar - 156.2*
Apr - 135.3*
May - 101.2
Jun - 107.6
Jul - 112.8
Aug - 116

* I had lots of time to run in March and April when I was temporarily unemployed.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I hate wasps

Day 241 - August 29, 2009

I had just started out, minding my own business, when out of nowhere a wasp stung me right on the ankle. I hate that. I'll be the first to admit that had I seen the nest, I would have found a super-sized can of spray and let them have it. But this time it was completely unprovoked.

As my ankle continued to swell, I decided to cut the run short. Hopefully a little antihistamine will help.

If the swelling goes down, I may try and go back out later tonight for a couple more miles. Only getting a mile and a half in makes yesterday's challenge even more difficult.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Night Run

Day 240 - August 28, 2009

I'm looking to close out August with a big push in mileage. If I can squeak out another 18 miles in the next three days, I will have 124 miles for the month. That would mean I increased my average to 4 miles per day. The weather here is very iffy for the next three days, but I think I can do it if Danny doesn't turn west. Getting in a 10 miler tomorrow or Sunday would be huge.

As of today, I'm on pace to match my best mileage year ever and I'd really like to break that record. If I can accumulate 1425 miles, that would do it, but I'd really like to get to 1460. I currently am averaging 3.9 miles per day, and to get to 1460, I need to average 4.2 for the last 125 days. How hard can it be to add .3 miles to every run?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A break from the humidity

Day 237 - August 25, 2009

This morning finally felt like fall. I know that summer still has a few weeks left to go, but the humidity of the last two weeks has been miserable. But this morning was awesome. The air was crisp and clean and I ran about 40 sec per mile faster than recent runs. I'm really looking forward to a good fall running season.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

900 miles for the year

Day 232 - August 20, 2009

Today I broke the 900 mile mark for total mileage. On to a 1000.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Shoes and a new running shirt

Day 231 - August 19, 2009

It was like Christmas in July for me today as I decided it was time for new shoes and a new running shirt. The shoes are Asics-2140. They didn't have the red this time, so I went with the electric blue - I know, very fancy. I still think Asics makes the best shoe for my foot and they seem to have rectified the problem with the dead midsoles they were trying to sell a couple years ago.

The shirt I bought was a performance t-shirt by Under Armour. Nothing special as far as running shirts go, but it was comfortable. I have no idea how good it will be at wicking. Tonight's run was the most humid run I've been on this summer. I was drenched within the first mile and I don't think any shirt could have kept up with my sweating under those conditions.

I'm now just a few miles shy of 900 for the year and the streak. That keeps me on pace for 1400+ miles for the year, but I'll need to bump up my average if I'm going to set an all-time high (1424 miles - 2005).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Carl Tribastone 5K

Day 227 - August 15, 2009

This morning was the 5th annual Carl Tribastone 5K, a race to benefit organ and tissue transplantation and donation. Carl was a local runner who developed a benign brain tumor. A sad twist of fate led to some unfortunate complications and Carl passed away leaving behind his four sons (age six and under) and wife, Andrea.

But Carl's passing was just the beginning for four other people. Carl was an organ donor. In his passing, he was able to save the lives of four individuals desperately waiting for a transplant.

Today, over 400 runners and walkers came out to support Carl's legacy and raise money for organ donation. I was fortunate enough to participate and had a pretty good race, finishing in 19:52, good enough for first place in the 30-39 age group.

I learned today that a single person can save the lives of up to 7 people. Seven people! To learn more about how you can become a donor, check out and learn how you can help up to 50 people with the organs and tissue you won't need any longer. I can't think of a better gift or legacy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 222 - running to beat the heat

August 10, 2009

Man am I glad I got out early to run today. At 8am it was a comfortable 74 and a great morning for a 4 mile run in PA. Had I waited until this evening it would have been miserable. The thermometer reads 99 in the shade - gross. Much better to spend the afternoon in the pool.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A good day to take off

...but I didn't. I woke this morning to a pair of lead weights attached to my hips. After a morning run, lunch-time game of pick-up football, and 4 hours at the county fair last night, my legs were dead this morning. I briefly entertained the idea of waiting to run in the heat tonight, but I already know I need to mow the lawn and do some other things around the house. So, I got myself out the door and put in to painfully slow miles. I bet in another 783 days I'll be glad I did.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Running into August

Day 214 - August 2, 2009

Another month has come to a close and with today's run, I have logged 214 consecutive days of running and 842 miles. Considering all of last year I only logged 880 miles, I am well on my way to surpassing that and I'm even on pace to set a new annual high (in 2005 I logged 1424 miles).

Today's run was a good mix of endurance and speed. I drove over to the Tech school, parked the car, and then ran 2.3 miles to the high school track for a warm-up. For the speed work-out I ran what I call a funnel. It starts with a longer distance, like a 1600m, and then decreases by 400m with each interval. The idea is to run each interval at a slightly faster pace. Today I started with a modest 6:33 1600m, and followed that up with a 4:48 1200m (6:24 pace); 3:03 800m (6:06 pace) and 1:23 400m (5:32 pace). For recovery, I jog a 400m lap in between intervals. I finished the workout with a 2.3 mile recovery run back to the car.

I like this type of speed workout because it gives me a chance to loosen up and get faster with each interval and I also get the endurance benefit of running longer intervals at the beginning. It also teaches you to run faster at the end of a race which can really help with your final kick. I'm hoping to continue running at least one speed workout a week to prepare myself for the fall 10K season. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Some Speed Work

Day 207 - July 26, 2009

The wife and I both needed to get in a run tonight and the compromise was to head over to the track, where we can both run our own workouts and the kids can ride their bikes and play on the playgrounds.

It all started out great and the workout was awesome. I ran a mile and half warm-up around the school, and then started some 800 m repeats with a 400 recovery. The first felt good and I ran a respectable 3:03. The second felt a bit tougher and I thought I was slower, but when I checked my time, it was just under 3:01. I really pressed on the third, and broke the 3 minute mark at 2:59. I was all geared up for the 4th when it happened - nature was calling the girls and the school was all locked up. Workout over.

My wife was a half mile short of finishing her run, so I dropped her off at the edge of our neighborhood and she was able to complete her miles. When she got home, I headed out for a 2 mile run and ran my last unmeasured half mile after hitting the turnaround. The last "half mile" was a 3:24, but I'm sure it was long. A quick check of gmap-pedometer claims .54, but I usually figure that is good for plus or minus a tenth of a mile.

Either way, I still finished 5.5 miles, we both got in our workouts, and the girls had a good time racing us around the track (we have an asphalt track - I'd never let them ride on an all-weather track).

Friday, July 24, 2009

Day 205 - Tough week

This week has been tough to find the energy to put in any longer runs - last weeks higher mileage and a lot of extra curricular activities resulted in some very tired legs. If I can find the energy for a long run tomorrow, I'll hit my weekly goal of 25+ miles, but I'm not going to have a repeat of last weeks 32 miles.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Day 200

July 19, 2009

The running streak has reached 200 consecutive days and I am just slightly off my goal of averaging 4 miles a day. I currently have 790 miles in the bag for the year and if I can get back on pace, I'm aiming for 1200 miles by Day 300.

This last week was a crazy running week for me. I got off to a good start with 8 miles on Sunday, then only 2 to 4 mile run Monday through Thursday. On Friday, I attempted to run to work from the house, which would have been 14 miles, but at 9 miles I called it quits and got a ride in the rest of the way. It still was a good week for me - 32 miles in all.

Congratulations to everyone else who started streaks on January first this year. Only 165 more to go in '09 and 1/5th of the way to 1000.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Eight Miles through Charlottesville

Day 193 - July 12, 2009

I was in Charlottesville today and had some time for a run through some of my old running routes. I started at the UVA track and weaved my way through some of the university neighborhoods then turned down University Ave and around the Corner. I was surprised by the number of students and parents out about this morning. I felt bad dodging my way through them, but most appeared oblivious to my presence. From the corner I turned up JPA by the hospital. I had a 5-7 mile run in mind, but as I ran up JPA I started to think I was going to finish in under 5 miles. I debated for a few strides and then decided to turn away from Grounds and cut down Shamrock, across the tracks over to Cherry Ave. I looped back up the hill on Cleveland and finally made it back to JPA extended. As I made my way back to Alderman, I stopped at the Aquatic and Fitness Center for a drink of water and a quick stretch before storming my way up O-Hill.

Observatory Hill is 1.6 mile loop with a 270 foot climb in the first 3/4 of a mile. That is steep enough for me. It then slowly drops down to the beginning over the nine/tenths of a mile. It's a tough loop, but with woods on both sides and little traffic, it makes a nice break from the crowded streets in Charlottesville.

I then finished the run by cutting down McCormack, past the Lawn, and back out Emmet St. to U-Hall. By the time I made it back up to the corner by the track I was ready to be done. It was getting hot, and after O-Hill, my legs were ready for a break. I quickly guzzled down some Gatorade and was on my way home. Eight miles is a good start to the week for me and puts me within striking distance of reaching the 800 mile mark by Day 200 of the streak. It'll be close.

Day 193
Miles 8.0 (YTD - 762)
Time 1:06:10 (YTD - 98:49:16)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Like the Energizer Bunny

After a long day and mowing the lawn this evening, I really didn't even want to run tonight. I decided I would just put in a minimum 2 miles and take the streak to another day. About three steps into the run, I changed my mind and decided I would run 2 laps of the 1.4 mile loop in the neighborhood. I was proud of myself for pushing it out a little bit more than the minimum, but I was only about half way around the first lap when I started trying to justify only running one lap. Not wanting to be so far behind on my weekly mileage, I gave myself the SIUCB speech - for those that don't remember, SUICB is shorthand for Suck It Up, CryBaby! So when I reached the final turn of the first loop, I manned up and turned left instead of right. I wasn't sure how far I was going to end up running, but I wasn't going to go back by the house and quit at 1.4 miles.

As I continued running away from the house I just kept extending how far the run would ultimately be. In the end, my original 2 mile run ended up being five and a half. Not bad considering if it hadn't been for the streak, I wouldn't have run at all. As I've said many, many times, the hardest mile is the first one.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

Happy Independence Day America! To celebrate today, I joined my wife at the annual 4th of July 5K in Charlottesville. Since one of us had to stay with our daughters, I volunteered to run the course before the race started and then cheered on the 300+ runners with the girls. Meg did awesome and ran one of her best times - probably because of signs the girls made in the car to cheer her on!

After the race, my friend Roger and I went back out for another 4.6 miles. It was a great way to spend a cool July morning.

Since the girls had headed home after the race, I had them leave my bike at the race and I rode the 16.5 miles home. The weather was perfect today.

Maybe this afternoon I'll take a nap and then its off to the fireworks this evening. I can't wait!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Perfect morning to end the month

Day 181 - June 30, 2009

The first 6 months of my running streak have gone by and I am happy to report that I have completed runs on 181 consecutive days, totaling 716 miles taking 92 hours, 35 minutes and 4 seconds. June was a good month for me despite a nagging abdominal muscle. I finished the month with 107 miles. If I can get this muscle to stop hurting, I'd like to think about another race, but it has really slowed my average pace. It is definitely getting better so I'll be patient and let it heal.

This morning was one of the prettiest mornings of the streak - 59F, clear blue skies, and no traffic. I didn't see a single car on the road.

Here's to the next 6 months!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pomeranian Punting

Day 176 - June 25, 2009

What is it about small dogs? Why is it they feel the need to bark the loudest? And why do they always have to try to bite me?

Twice in the last mile of my run tonight, I had dogs come out into the road barking at me. The first was a minature collie and she really was more curious than anything. But like all small dogs, she completely ignored her owner and followed me out into the road, all the time barking. I get the whole defending their territory argument, but if I cross over to the other side of the road, that should be enough. Fortunately, she was happy with just "running" me out of her territory.

The second dog was a tiny pomeranian, whose leash was attached to a lawn chair. As I crested the hill, I saw the dog, start running towards me, completely ignoring the two owners who were out with it. That nasty dog dragged that chair 100 feet across their yard and right into the road. I gave my customary two warnings for the dog to stop, but of course it didn't. Nope, it came right out across the road, causing two cars to slam on the brakes, as it went for the kill on my legs.

Now I generally like dogs and respect their right to defend their owners property. But, if I'm in the road, I'm not letting a dog bite me if I can help it. I have a simple rule - if the dog comes into the road and tries to bite me, I will kick it in the nose. If the dog tries to bite me again, I kick it harder. Tonight, when the dog lept at my knee, I gave it a swift kick and that was the end of it. No second kick was needed.

In general, I find most dogs stop when I yell at them to stop, and 90% of the rest give up after the first kick. But there is always that one dog. About a year and half ago, I Jack Russell Terrier came across his electric fence with Satan in his eye. There is not a doubt in my mind, that if that dog had been bigger, it would have tried to kill me. It came straight at me, ignored my shouts, and took the first kick like I had hit it with a balloon. Completely unphased, he kept coming and I rolled him into the ditch as he latched onto my calf. Even that didn't phase him and he was quickly coming back for more. At this point, I had enough and when I stopped to defend myself, the dog finally realized I was about to get serious and he wisely retreated.

I really wish I could just run without having to deal with dogs, who doesn't. But as runners it is something we will all be faced with. What do you all do when confronted by "man's best friend"? Fortunately, I've never been bit hard, but I'm sure it happens. If you have a strategy that works, I'd love to hear it. Drop a comment and let everyone know.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 175 - A great night for a run

The weather was perfect tonight for a summer evening - 85, no humidity, light breeze. Quite different from Saturday's run. I originally was planning to run 5 miles, but with it being such a perfect night, I extended the run out to 6.4. That brings me to 693 miles for the year - probably two days shy of 700. Not a bad start for the first half of the year.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 171 - Today was hot

I can't believe it has been two weeks since I last posted. I've been working a lot of hours lately, but I'm still finding time to run everyday. It has been a tough two weeks. I pulled an abdominal muscle a while back and it isn't healing very fast. It usually is fine after I warm up for a mile or two, but the shooting pain down my inner thigh is not fun for that first half mile. I'm stretching and icing everyday, and I do think it is getting better, but it is probably going to be a few weeks before I don't notice it.

Today I ran a 6+ mile run. A light rain shower started around 11:00 and I thought that might be a great way to beat the heat. I quickly got ready to run and just as I was heading out the door, the thunder started. With all the recent lightning related deaths, I decided I'd better wait it out. I'm glad it did, because it poured for about 10 minutes.

When the rain stopped, I checked the radar and saw it was all clear to the west and I headed out. I was hoping it wouldn't be too bad out there, but the sun came out and it got hot fast. Add in the humidity and it was down right oppressive. When I got back, I looked like I had fallen in the creek. I was sweating buckets. I drank a Gatorade and then decided to see how much fluid I had lost. I stepped on the scale and was 5 pounds less than this morning - and that was after putting 20 ozs back in. I'll be drinking a lot of water today to catch up.

I'll try and post a little more regularly the next couple of weeks. Don't hold your breath for every day, but I hopefully won't wait two weeks again.

Have a great Father's Day tomorrow.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Day 157 - June 6, 2009

30 miles - I finally got my mileage back up to 30 miles for the week. My legs have been really sore the last few weeks and I'm trying to do more stretching. I have a tendency to get lazy with my stretching when the running is going well and eventually the tightness catches up with me. Stretching is also the first thing I skip on a busy day when I barely have time to get in a run to keep the streak going. You may remember from some previous posts that I've been doing a lot of really short runs lately.

It really isn't worth it to skip stretching - it takes less than 10 minutes to get in enough preventative stretching to keep the legs fresh - because running sore is not fun. I also run a lot slower when I'm sore.

For the next couple of weeks, I'll set aside more time for stretching and actually stop to stretch while I'm out running. Today I stopped twice on a 5 mile run, just to stretch, and I felt better towards the end of the run. Hopefully, I'll follow my own advice and be back to 100% soon.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

5 Months and 151 straight days

The month of May has come to a close and I finished with a 10 mile afternoon run in 90+ degree heat. This month has been a scheduling nightmare for me and I've had to take my runs when I could get them. More than once I was out running after 9:00pm to get my run in for the day. I've been trying to maintain at least 100 miles/month, and I started the day with 91 miles logged in May. So a long run it was.

It wasn't too bad despite the heat. There was a good breeze for most of the run and the humidity today was lower than normal for the Virginia summer. I hate that nearly 10% of my miles for the month came on the last day, but I am glad I broke into triple digits. I finished the month with 101 miles and that was just enough to push me over the 600 mile mark for the year. I'd like to get back on track and finish the next 100 in 21-24 days, but as long as I keep the streak alive, that's all that really matters.

I hope everyone has a great June and that the miles come easy.

Monday, May 25, 2009

No long run on Memorial Day

Day 145 - May 25, 2009

I didn't get a long run in today, but I did go on a hike with the family today before running this evening. The weather threatened thunderstorms all day, so I wasn't keen on getting too far from the house. I know this is an excuse and that probably would have kept me from running at all today if it weren't for the streak. Instead, I managed a humid 3.7 miles just before dark.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and took a minute to remember the sacrifice that so many gave for our freedom. To all our men and women in the Armed Forces now, and in the past, I say thank you.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Busy week - many short runs

Day 142 - May 22, 2009

The streak continues, but the mileage this week is way down, and I'm way off pace for the month too. This week has brought many runs of 2 miles or less, but at least I didn't take the week off. Tonight I had time for a 3.5 mile run and it felt pretty good to run for more than 15 minutes. I'm hoping to get a longer run in over the long weekend to help push my monthly mileage up towards 100 miles. I hope I can get there.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New route today

Today I decided to take my running clothes to work and see how many miles I could get in at lunch time. It was a great day for running. I ran through the research park and then out to the airport and back. All in all I got about 4.5 miles in before it was back to the office. Running at lunch really revved up my energy for the afternoon and the hours flew by. I'm going to try and do this a couple times a week just to break up the routine of running the same routes all the time. There are a lot of options for different routes that all fall in that 30-45 minute range. I'm pretty excited that the new job shouldn't interfere with my streak.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Day 130 - perfect morning

I woke to a beautiful sunrise and perfect conditions for a run. I threw on my shoes and was out the door before anyone else even began to stir this morning. It was perfect. The sky was crystal clear and deep blue. The clouds transformed from a pinkish glow to brilliant orange and where snow white by the end of the run. It was a morning too pretty not to run. If they all were this nice, running for 1000 days would be a piece of cake!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Day 129 - To the track

I had the kids tonight (the wife was headed out for a girls night out) and wasn't sure when I was going to get in my run. I thought I was going to be relegated to the treadmill again when my youngest had a brilliant idea. "Dad, can we go over to the school and ride our bikes?" That was the best idea I heard all day. You see, the track at our high school is asphalt - terrible for a high school meet, but perfect for a dad with two kids and their bikes. I put them in the outside lanes and they can ride their little hearts out and I can get in a track workout.

My initial plan was to just run three miles and call it a day. I figured they would be tired and ready to go home. I really didn't even plan to run fast. I was thinking I would just run a steady 7:30-7:40 pace and go home 23 minutes later. But, as the saying goes, you can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy.

I ran exactly one lap at 7:30 pace, and then it happened. My pace got steadily faster and faster. Each lap just slightly faster than the previous. I finished the first mile in 7:17, and the second in 6:50. 14:07 for the first two miles. At that point, I decided I would stop and stretch and see if I could do a repeat of that for a second two mile, then finish with a faster single mile. Mile three did not disappoint and I finished the first four laps in 6:39. Again, each lap was slightly faster than the previous. I thought I might start to slow at some point, but it didn't happen on the 4th mile. In fact, I ran that mile even faster in 6:27!

I stopped to check on the kids who had ditched their bikes and were looking for trouble. Fortunately I was able to distract them with the playground just outside the track and they were content long enough for me to attempt my final mile.

With the succes of the first four miles, I wanted to end the workout with a strong finish. I was guessing I could run the last mile in 6:20 if I really pushed it. That meant I would have to run each lap in 95 seconds - which was three seconds faster than the final lap of mile 4.

Lap one was right on a perfect pace of 95, and I followed it up with a 93. That gave me a 3:08 for the first 800m. I was two seconds ahead of pace, but my legs didn't care. I was feeling great and sped around the third lap in 91 seconds. I really didn't know what to expect on the last lap. It felt like the wind really picked up when I was headed into it and I have expected the final lap to be slower, but I was pretty sure I was still going to make the 6:20 - there was no way I would be 6 seconds slower than the 95 I was shooting for. As I hit the final straightaway, the wind was not going to give in. I reached the finish line, hit my watch, and looked down to see I had finished in 89 for a finishing time of 6:08, with a final half mile time of 3 minutes even!

I really needed a fast run to finish the week. It's been one of those weeks where I just wasn't happy with my running. This finishes the week strong and gets me ready for another day in the streak to 1000.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

All I could manage today

After a 60 minute pick-up football game at lunch and 90 minutes of mowing this evening, 1 loop around the neighborhood was all I could muster tonight.

I'm not worried about not getting enough running in - I was sucking wind most of the game. One would think 30 miles a week would prepare you for that, but its a totally different type of running! But man it was fun!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

5 Miles for Cinco de Mayo

Day 125 - May 5, 2009

The legs felt much better tonight after 3 days of short runs. It took me about a mile to loosen up, but after that I felt fine. With any luck, I won't be sore tomorrow and I can get back on track with my weekly mileage.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Just in case you missed it

The Albemarle High School, boys 4x800m relay team is really special. Not only did they win the prestigious Penn Relays last weekend, they shattered the US National Record. Congratulations Albemarle.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 120 - 4 months complete

One third of the way through the year and 500+ miles logged! April was another good month for me as I logged 135 miles and had a great finish in the Charlottesville 10 miler. I have run everyday this year and am 120 days closer to my goal of running at least 1 mile for 1000 straight days.

I'm looking forward to May and the warmer weather and logging another 31 days.

Today was a short two mile recovery run before I was really even awake. Nothing exceptionally exciting about the run, just another day in the streak.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sometimes I wonder why I even try to plan

Day 119 - April 29, 2009

Wasn't it just yesterday that I said I was going to keep it short for awhile and let my legs heal up a bit? So, what do I do today? I take my car in for an inspection and decide that would be a good time to go for a long run. I met up with two of my running friends and we ran up to Camp Holiday Trails. It was great morning for a run. A cold front moved in over night, and dropped the temperatures about 15 degrees and there was a light breeze. The leaves are just coming out here, and under the heavy cloud cover they glowed almost neon green along the dirt road leading up to the camp. It was a perfect morning but now my hamstring is not happy with me. Probably not the smartest thing I've ever done.

We'll see how this plays out over the next few days. I'm going to try and run through it, but if it really flares up, I'll cut back my mileage. And I really mean it this time - really.

I also crossed the 500 mile mark for the year. It took me 23 days to get from 400 to 500. Not bad, but not the 21 days it took to get from 300 to 400.

Today's run - 10.3 miles (YTD 505 miles)
Today's time - 1:17:34 (YTD 65:02:25)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Much better

The new shoes were the ticket - the leg pain was much less today and I think it is more about residual soreness than anything. Hopefully in a couple of days I'll be back to 100%. Until then, I'll keep it short and keep the streak alive.

Today's Run - 3.3 miles (YTD - 495 miles)
Today's time - 0:24:29 (YTD - 63:44:52)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Time for new shoes

Day 117 - April 27, 2009

After three straight runs with leg pain, I decided it was time to hang up the Asics 1130's and buy a new pair of running shoes. Over the last two years I've floated between the 1100 and 2100 series of shoes. Sometimes I made the decision on price, others on how the cushioning felt, and sadly at times, on the color choices available.

With the higher mileage I've been running this spring, I decided to go with the more cushioned Asics 2140. I wasn't crazy about the extra $15 for the upgrade, but if it keeps my legs feeling fresher, than it will be worth it.

I've pretty much run in Asics for my entire running career. In high school I ran in Reebok (back when they actually focused on making running shoes) and Nike, but eventually settled on Asics. I am a big fan of the gel cushioning and the great durability of the shoe. I typically get 400+ miles out of a single pair and have even gone as high as 500 miles on occasion. With a style of shoe for every foot, body type, and running form, I highly recommend having a running shop professionally fit you to the right shoe in the Asics line-up. I know I'm looking forward to breaking in my new shoes tomorrow.

Today's Run - 5.1 miles (YTD 492 miles)
Today's Time - 0:40:11 (YTD 63:20:22)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Running with the girls

As I was lacing up my shoes today, Sarah asked if she could run with me. Not wanting to discourage her, I said sure. She got ready as fast as she could and we were out the door. Being a miniature version of me, she wanted to tackle the hardest hill in the neighborhood and insisted we run the loop in that direction. To her credit, she did it and finished the run faster than we had run the other day when we ran down that hill. I took her back inside, and was ready to head out for my run when a small voice from across the house asked if she could run with me. So, Molly and I headed out and ran the reverse of the loop that Sarah and I had just completed. She did a great job and was 15 seconds faster than her little sister - yes we are that competitive :)

With 15 minutes of running complete and me still standing on my front porch, I decided I would run the loop one more time as fast as I could and call it a day. I'm sure my workout today breaks all the major rules of training, but it was good to spend a few quality minutes with my girls out on the road.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

After the storm

When the thunder finally stopped and the rains gave way to clear skies, I headed out for a nice evening run. Just shy of five and a half miles, it made for a good addition to the week's total.

Today's run 5.4 miles (YTD - 472)
Today's time 0:42:45 (YTD - 60:47:06)

Monday, April 20, 2009

110 days complete

The running streak has reached 110 straight days. I'm finding it much easier this second time around. If you are new to the blog, my first attempt to log 1000 consecutive days of running ended on day 365 when a nasty flu-like virus kicked my butt! I guess when you've done 300+ straight days, 110 is a piece of cake.

Tonight was a late run after the severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings ended. Thankfully we only had rain and lightning. It was a rather uneventful run. With the heavy cloud cover it was really dark and all I saw were rabbits running across the road in front of me. Everything else was lost in the darkness.

On to Day 111.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Two more runs to keep the streak alive

Day 109 - April 19, 2009

Saturday I was hurting from Friday's 14 miles. My legs were dead and sore. I took it relatively easy and went with my safety run - the 3.6 mile run I do when I'm not pressed for time. It was good to work out the kinks and get ready for today.

Today felt better, but it may have been the company. Molly and Sarah both wanted to run with dad today, so I took them out for a quick loop around the neighborhood before I did the bulk of my run. It was great to get them out and talk about pace, and road safety. This was Molly's first run, and even when she wanted to stop and walk, she didn't complain. It was a lot of fun. I dropped them off at the house and set out for 4+ miles on my own. I hope they will stay interested, but if not, I'll enjoy it while I can.

Friday, April 17, 2009

14 Miles of Perfect Weather

Day 107 - April 17, 2009

I can't imagine a more perfect evening for a long run. The temperature was in the low 80's when I started out, but there was no humidity and just a very lite breeze. The sun was low on the horizon and cast a warm glow on the green fields and budding trees. Just a beautiful night. All the tough weather of the last two weeks was worth it, even if it was for just this one night. I'm glad I didn't waste it on a 2 mile run!

Today's Run - 14.1 miles (YTD 455 miles)
Today's Time - 1:49:29 (YTD 58:30:02)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Better late than never

I didn't make it out until 9:00 tonight for my run. Pretty uneventful, unless of course you count the overly aggressive dog who wanted to tear my leg off. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt since it was dark, I probably scared him more, and he did stop charging when I shouted at him.

All in all, a good night for a run with NO WIND or RAIN!!!! YEAH!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The running streak continues.

Day 104 - Random run around the neighborhood - 5.4 miles.

Today was one of those days where I just had to get out and get started. I procrastinated as long as I could and just didn't feel like running, but I'm glad I had the streak to make me do it. Once I was on the road I was fine, but I've been feeling really sluggish the last few days.

After the run and my shower, I decided to step on the scale. It had been about 10 days since I last checked my weight. Man was I shocked. I had dropped seven pounds. I couldn't believe the scale was right. So, I got dressed and came out and fired up the Wii Fit. Sure enough, 7.5 pounds in 11 days. My BMI had dropped a full point! I'm guessing that explains the sluggishness.

Maybe it was a one day fluke. I'll keep an eye one it. Or maybe, the 100+ straight days of running is finally starting to pay off.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

SpringHill 6

This afternoon, I went out for a leisurely 6 mile run. Today was all about getting enough miles to put the weekly total above 30, without draining myself before tomorrow's long run. The wind has been relentless here for the last week. I'm really hoping for a calm day tomorrow.

Trying to break 4 minutes in the mile

What a way to celebrate my 100th straight day of running. I started the day off with a 1 mile run with my 6 year old daughter and wife. It was a nice run around the neighborhood. Then I got an email that there would be a one mile race at UVA at 7:00pm. Three of UVA's All-American track stars were going to take a shot at breaking the 4 minute mile mark (you didn't really think I was going to race that fast did you?). I figured this was going to be pretty cool, so I made plans to be there. I even called the Media Relations people to see if I could get a press pass to cover the event. It was a long shot, but I figured they weren't going to be over burdened with media for a track meet, even one with the hype of a sub 4 minute mile.

Well, my request was denied, apparently a blog with less than 10 subscribers doesn't meet the university's definition of a media source, but the people I spoke with were very nice and suggested I take any photos I like from the areas that the general public would have access to. I didn't figure this would be a problem for the running shots as I could get right up next to the fence along the track.

I then had to quickly get my afternoon run in before dinner (the run with the family didn't meet my time requirement for a fast enough mile) so I'd have time to make it into Charlottesville. I had hoped to do a longer run for my 100th, but the track meet trumped the miles.

The University of Virginia has had one runner in school history break 4 minutes in the mile. In 1982, Vince Draddy ran a 3:58.2. For Virginia to have three runners poised to break that mark, and possibly set a new school record, is very exciting and over 100 fans came out to Lannigan Field to see fourth year Andrew Jesien, second year Emil Heineking, and first year Sintayehu Taye take their shot at the 27 year old record.

Seven competitors toed the line for the start, with two runners slated to be dedicated rabbits. The rabbits job is to ensure that the pace of the first two-three laps is fast enough that the chaser will have enough cushion on the last lap to hang on and break the goal time.

At the gun, the rabbits quickly established the lead and provided a wind break for the Virginia runners. In the first corner, everything looked good, but a stiff head wind on the back stretch was waiting for the group as they came out of turn two. Playing it smart, Heineking and Jesien tucked in tight behind the pace setters and let them block the wind.
At the 200, 31 seconds had ticked off the clock, a little bit slow, but considering the wind, not a bad start. The group stayed stride for stride through turns 3 and 4, but failed to pick up any time in the home stretch of lap one. In fact, they had fallen a good 3 or 4 seconds off pace, crossing the line in 63-64 seconds. I was concerned at this point that it wasn't going to happen, but every runner is different. I was expecting the rabbits to take them through the first 400 in 57-58 seconds, but some runners are second half racers and take it out conservatively to save for the kick at the end.

As the runners entered the first turn of lap two, Heineking was right on the heels of the rabbits, with Jesien and Taye just a few strides back. The pace picked up a bit on the second lap as the leaders continued to push the pace. The rabbits led the way with an 800m split of 2:03, still slow, but much faster than the first lap.

There seemed to be some confusion about where the rabbits would pull out of the way and when Heineking and company would make their move. You can see in the photo, Heineking was forced to the otuside of lane 1 as they entered the corner. At this point, I would have thought the rabbits would move outside and let the chasers squeeze every inch out of the inside rail that they could. In a race of this magnitude, tenths of seconds matter. To add to the confusion, as the runners came out of turn 2 on the third lap, Heineking appeared ready to make a move, but the rabbits went two abreast, forcing Heineking out into lane 2. I'm not suggesting that the rabbits hurt the overall finishing time, just that it looked awkward and not how I would have imagined it being scripted out.

On the third lap, the Virginia runners made their move and took over the top three slots. I missed where the rabbits pulled out, but as they hit the 1200m mark, Heineking was in first at 3:02, Jesien was second just a second behind, and Taye another two seconds back. The last lap was going to have to be blazing fast!
As the runners entered the first turn of this final lap, you could see from Heineking's expression that the last lap was going to be tough. With 300 m to go, Heineking took one last quick peek at the clock with the hope of running the fastest 300m of his life. Jesien, in his own effort to break 4 minutes started to close the gap and prepared to make his move on the backstretch.

The crowd's excitement continued to build as Jesien moved up on Heineking's shoulder entering the third turn. When the runners broke out of the final turn for the last 100m, I thought they had gained a few seconds on the clock and there was a legitimate shot at making the time. With 50m to go, the crowd was on their feet, wishing for time to slow as Jesien had moved into first place and was racing toward the finish. But the clock refused to slow and Jesien finished in an amazing 4:02.18, followed by Heineking in 4:04.80, and Taye 4:05.38. Despite not breaking 4 minutes, all three runners assured themselves of another chance by qualifying for the Eastern Regional with their times.

Congratulations to all three runners. You gave the Charlottesville running community something to come out for and we were glad to witness your attempt at entering an elite club. I wish you the best at Regionals and look forward to hearing of your record setting times.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day 99 - Hill run

The wind was still blowing today, but it was thankfully much warmer. The route I chose for today is a series of hills with almost no gentle or flat stretches. I consider it one of the harder runs that I regularly run. Today it seemed especially hard. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why my legs were so dead. At first, I thought maybe it was because I sat at the computer almost all day and I just didn't move around enough. Then I thought maybe I wasn't recovering from my last race very well. Surely five days later I would have bounced back to normal.

Then it dawned on me. I had gone out so early that I forgot I had done it today - I push mowed my lawn this morning for an hour and a half. I forgot how much that tires out your legs, especially early in the spring when the grass grows so thick. I guess I should have chosen an easier run for today :)

Tomorrow's 100th straight day of running will feel all the sweeter after today's hard workout! I'm looking forward to it.