Training Widget

Friday, December 31, 2010

Year 2 Complete

Day 730 - December 31, 2010

I made it - another year in the bag. Final total for the year 1801 miles! Thanks for following along another year - 270 days to 1000!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Closing in on 1800

Day 725 - December 26, 2010

Back on track! The last 10 days have been good for my running. I've logged 56 miles capped with a 12 mile run on Christmas. I now need just 23 miles to reach 1800 for the year. At this point, I have no excuse for not making it. Its hard for me to believe that last year was my best ever at 1460 - 340 less than I should run this year.

It's been a great year for me and I hope I can keep it going into 2011.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and has a Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Day 715 - December 16, 2010

I love the first run in snow each year. I even managed to stay vertical today - not an easy feat on 3 inches of packed down snow and ice. I definitely ran slower, but it was great being out in the white stuff.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Night Football

Day 712 - December 13, 2010

My running has sucked lately. It has been cold, dark, and my motivation has been in the toilet since the marathon ended. I've fallen off the pace for breaking 1800 miles for the year. I've just felt blah. I was afraid today was going to add to the suckitude of the last 6 weeks.

After a long day at work and my daughter's dance recital, the last thing I wanted to do was go out and run with the temps in the low 20's and the wind blowing more than 20. So I compromised and got on the treadmill before the football game started. I decided I would run until the end of the first quarter and increase the pace every time there was a change in possession. The pregame took 13 minutes before they finally kicked off. The next "15" minutes of the first quarter lasted for 38 minutes. I didn't really mind - it was a great way to break up the monotony of the treadmill and I ran an extra 2.5 miles I wasn't counting on today. I started at just over 8 min pace and finished running under 7:30's, which isn't bad for me indoors.

I'm hoping I'll turn this thing around - I'm only 6 miles off the 1800 pace, so I can make it up if I don't waste any days. If this weather doesn't break soon, I may wear out our treadmill - it has just been too cold for too many days (I'm in Virginia and a sissy I know). All of you in really cold areas could cry me a river if your tears wouldn't freeze before they got down your cheeks :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 699 - 23 months and counting

Day 699 - November 30, 2010

Wow - tomorrow is day 700 and the start of the 24th month!

Here are the totals from the first 23 months:

Total Miles: 3111
Total time: 401:21:11

That's the equivalent of running from Washington DC to Denver and then to Seattle.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Finally some daylight

Day 689 - November 20, 2010

Today was a great running day. First I went to Dick's Sporting Goods and picked up a new pair of shoes, the Asics 2050. I took a step back from the Kayanos for the winter. Not really sure why I did, but felt that I could save $40 and probably get almost as many miles. My current Kayanos only lasted about 430 miles, which was down quite a bit from the 500 I got out of the last pair. We'll see how it goes.

But, it would be criminal if I didn't tell you about the deal I got. Apparently Dicks is offering a shoe warranty program that you can buy into to and they will replace your shoes, at no additional cost if they don't last a year. Yes, I said a year. This includes normal wear and tear from running. I'm skeptical, but I asked, and they say they will replace them even if I wear the bottoms off from 350 miles of running. For $12, I figured it was worth the risk to see if I really can get new shoes for up to one year. I typically go through 4-5 pairs of shoes in a year - we'll see how many times they will replace them, but even if I only get one free pair, I'm coming out way ahead! I'll report back in a 2-3 months when it is time to replace these.

I then came home and put them on for a road test. It was great to get out for more than an hour in the daylight. I ran about 8.5 miles and it was awesome. I now have cracked the 1600 mile mark for the year, and I'm thinking I might be able to get to 1800 by New Years. That would absolutely destroy last years record of 1460! We'll see how it goes.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Running Manifesto

One of the things I like most about Dailymile is the number of people I've been exposed to that write running blogs. Today I came across a particularly good one at Predawn Runner. This is a guy after my own heart. I've posted his two Manifestos of Running below. If you agree, check out his site and see what other bits of wisdom he has to share in each post.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The streak hits 3000 miles

Day 676 - November 7, 2010

With today's run, I have now logged 3004 miles since Jan 1, 2009. It has been an incredible year and I can't wait to see how many more miles I can pile on.

Today was the first day since the marathon where I felt good running. I did an out and 5.5 miles and even included some hills. I'm going to spend the next couple of weeks concentrating on the Turkey Day Trot and trying to break 18:30 for the 5K.

After the first of the year, I'll refocus on distance for the Charlottesville 10 miler, another half marathon, and possibly a spring marathon.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reflections Part II

Day 672 - November 3, 2010

The excitement and anticipation that built waiting for the gun to finally go off was incredible. It started with a pair of F-18s that flew over the start, the signing of the national anthem, and then the announcer doing his best Ryan Seacrest impersonation. I seriously thought he was going to say, "Charge the District...Beat the Bridge...Take the Iwo...Right after the break". The gun (howitzer) finally went off and we headed north along Route 100. I started conservatively and tried not to pass anyone in the first mile. I just went with the flow of people and tried to hold back the adrenaline. Running up into Rosslyn, I completely missed the first mile marker and never even looked at my watch until I was 9 minutes into the run. At this point, the course turned uphill and I found myself fighting the urge to surge. I was amazed that even with a 15 minute head start, we were starting to catch the wheelchair racers as they struggled to climb that first hill. It was amazing to see their determination as they inched forward one turn at a time to the top.

The two mile mark was at the the top of the hill and I checked my split - a solid 13:50. I was hoping for 7:05s for the first two miles, thinking the hills would be tougher. Mile three was all down hill and despite feeling slow, I clocked a 6:30 and came back in 6:21 for Mile 4. This was way faster than the 6:50's I needed to break three hours, but I don't know that I could have run any slower. I felt like I was crawling as it was. It is weird how that can happen in a race, as it never happens to me in training. I usually struggle to break 7's on a normal run. Miles 5 and 6 were very flat along the river as we looped out of Rosslyn and toward Gerogetown. I actually got a little bored through here as it was incredibly flat and straight as an arrow, but I still turned in faster than expected splits of 6:40 and 6:31. The course then turned back toward Georgetown and we were faced with the only long hill in the race. Mile 7 was almost completely uphill and it definitely slowed me down, but not too bad (7:03). Miles 8 and 9 were back downhill and the crowds in Georgetown were amazing. Thousands of people lined the streets and cheered for everyone. It was a great boost to the moral and helped me pick the pace back up for splits of 6:31 and 6:41.

From Georgetown, it was on to the National Mall and around the Tidal Basin. I cruised through the next mile and finished the first 10 in 66:45, which would be in my top 10 for fastest 10 miler times (maybe top 5). Miles 11, 12, and 13 were pretty uneventful and I managed some even splits of 6:49, 6:45, and 6:48, right on perfect pace. I was really pleased at the half to see 1:27:46 on the clock. A full 2 minutes in the bank for breaking 3 hours. Miles 14-16 were equally good, just missing my needed times (6:41, 6:54, 6:54), but with all that time in the bank, I didn't think much about it. I was starting to feel some fatigue, but I was at mile 16 which is to be expected.

Running back around the Lincoln Memorial and onto the National Mall, the crowds were large and a bit distracting. Everyone was trying to find their runner and if that meant they had to step in front of you, well, you should just go around them. I was bit frustrated by this, but what are you going to do. Just before mile 17, I felt my first twinge in my hamstring, but I immediately sucked down 8 oz of Gatorade and a GU pack and I thought I was going to be ok. Everything seemed to loosen back up as I rounded the Capitol and reversed direction on the Mall. I was admittedly a little scared at this point that I was going to bonk and slowed my pace to 7:07 for miles 17 and 18.

Unfortunately, this is where the good news ends. Just before mile 19, my right hamstring completely locked up on me. I had to stop and stretch it out as I couldn't even walk. It eventually let go and I made it to the water stop and pounded a couple of cups of Powerade and eventually got back to running. I lost some time here and the next mile was the first to crack 8 minutes per mile (8:03). I came back with a pair of 7:44 for miles 20 and 21, but I had to intersperse some short walk/stretching breaks to keep my hamstrings from cramping.

I finally made it across the bridge and back into Crystal City, but the cramps came more often and with more intensity. I spent a lot of time walking and looking for water stations. At this point I knew 3 hours was out of the question as I went 8:44, 9:03, 8:54 for miles 22, 23, and 24. I was starting to really feel sorry for myself when off to my right, I noticed row after row of white headstones. I was back to Arlington National Cemetery. This was a major SUICB (Suck It Up CryBaby) moment for me. How could I be whining about the pain in my legs when these men and women had given so much for me to even have the opportunity to run this race.

So, I changed my attitude, but not my speed and continued to struggle the last two miles in just under 9 minute pace (8:57, 8:54). At 26 miles you enter the the final climb up to the Iwo Jima Memorial. I gave it my best effort and pushed through to the finish - proud that I had qualified for Boston with a 3:11:32, but disappointed that I had failed to break 3:10 or the ultimate 3 hour barrier.

When I finished I found my wife and kids and swore again that I would never run another marathon. I love the 10 mile and half distances. I can get through them and finish without feeling like I am going to die.

But I have to admit, today, I actually Goggled spring marathons - I'm such a dummy.

Anyone running Vermont in May?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reflections - Part 1

Day 671 - November 2, 2010

Happy to report that I have kept the streak alive despite some really sore legs. My quads are especially sore and do not appreciate stairs at this point. But I still managed to muddle through three mile runs both Monday and today.

After two days to sit and reflect on all the training, I've run the gamut of never wanting to run a marathon again to starting to think about where I might try my next.

But before I get ahead of myself, here's my recollection of how the race went down.

I fell asleep Saturday night while my wife and daughter's watch the Haunted Gingerbread House Challenge on Food Network, so I was out by 10:00. I know I woke up a few times in the night, but I felt rested when the alarm went off at 4:30. I got up, ate some light snacks and was off to the Metro for my ride to the Pentagon. I had about a 30 minutes ride, but at that time, it was only marathon runners on the train. The Metro has a station right at the Pentagon, but it was on the opposite side of the starting area. I felt like a total lemming just following the crowd around the building in the dark, but I had no idea where I was going and that just seemed logical. It felt like we walked for over 15 minutes to get to security. It was recommended that we arrive at the race 2 hours before the start to get through security. I think that was a bit much, especially given that temps were in the 40s. But I found a place to sit on the asphalt, tried to stay warm, and amused myself people watching all the runners in costume.

About 30 minutes before the race, I started making my way to the starting corrals. It was another half mile walk. I've never done a race with this many people and was surprised by how large the starting area needed to be to accommodate 30000 runners.

I found my corral and with about 10 minutes to go before the race, I realized I needed to pee one last time. I jumped out of the corral and started jogging back to the portable toilets and realized i wasn't going to make it. I saw one or two guys peeing through the chain link fence along the highway, and figured what the heck. I mean, why should I take up a spot in the portable toilets that one of the women runners could use, right??? By the time I finished, about 100 other guys decided to make the same concession and we were shoulder to shoulder.

I got back to the corral with plenty of time to spare and they walked us down to the starting line. Unfortunately for my friend Mike, he didn't estimate his timing very well and was actually in the portable toilets when the gun went off. That mistake probably cost him 10-15 minutes of race time as he then had to pass 20000 people to get to the finish line. I know he was disappointed by that.

Tomorrow I'll write about the actual race and how it went mile by mile. I've broken it down by my watch splits, 5k splits, and even my first and second halves. Hope you'll check back.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Marine Corps Marathon

Day 669 - October 31, 2010

It was a beautiful morning for the marathon today. I'll write more later, but wanted to share that I finished, I qualified for Boston, but I did not break 3 hours.

Official time was 3 hours, 11 minutes, and 32 seconds. There are a lot of great stories I hope to share when I've had a chance to recover. I had a great first half and was still doing well at 16 miles. I started to cramp up a bit at 17, but fought it off until Mile 19. Then the wheels fell off - hamstrings cramped up and it really slowed me down. But, I finished. I even set a PR - my previous best marathon was a 3:31. For 2010 - I pulled off the trifecta - PRs in the 10 mile, half marathon and full marathon.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

5 Days and Counting

Day 664 - October 26, 2010

Today was just an easy three. I've been reading a lot about carbo loading and avoiding the bonk. One of the coolest things I found this week is an Endurance Calculator.

I don't know that I believe the 2:14, but I hope the conservative estimate of 3:15 is correct. I was happy to see that my max VO2 is around 60 based on my resting heart rate of 47 (that's an average of the 45 I had this evening and the 50 I counted at work this morning).

Another great article was just published in PLOS Computational Biology by Benjamin Rapoport. Metabolic Factors Limiting Performance in Marathon Runners provides a lot of interesting relationships between, carboloading, max VO2, and marathon pace time. I'm really interested in seeing how this plays out for me. There are plenty of equations and graphs to really get your inner running science geek excited.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A new all-time mileage for the year.

Day 661 - October 23, 2010

You may remember that last year I pushed really hard the last four months and got my yearly mileage to 1460 - an average of 4 miles a day. Well with this morning's ten mile run, my total for the year so far in 2010 is 1467! It is only October 23. Ooo, hope I didn't pull something patting my own back!

I can't wait to see how far I can go this year. One week until Marine Corps. I'm really looking forward to it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


As most of you know, I've been busting my tail all year to get myself in shape for the Marine Corps Marathon in DC and ultimately qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2011. I got an email from a friend today informing me that Boston is closed. Apparently, the registrations sold out in 8 hours.

10 days before my marathon - man that is demotivating.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

ZOMBIES - Everywhere

Day 655 - October 17, 2010

Charlottesville was a scary scene this morning as hundreds of zombies showed up for breakfast at Lee Park and the start of the Danger, Zombie, Run 5k. We humans were spotted a 90 second head start and had to not only avoid the chasing horde, but also hidden zombies along the course who popped out of no where to steal your soul (a red ribbon taped to our backs).

You probably heard the joke about going hiking and not having to out run a bear, just the slowest person in your group. Well that was the mentality today. I got out quick off the start and let the zombies feast on the crowd behind me. Some might call that cowardly. I call it survival.

My only close encounter came when the course doubled back around for the finish and we had to mingle in with the lapped runners. Two zombies tried to make a dash and steal my ribbon, but I found another gear and put some sidewalk between me and the dead.

I pushed on to the safety of Lee Park and finished the run in second overall (19:00). I was hoping to run about 30 seconds faster, but there were no splits on the course and my internal GPS must have been off. Still a good finish and happy to have survived. I think less than 10 out of the 400+ runners finished with their souls intact.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Not the run I was looking for today

Day 648 - October 10, 2010

The higher temperatures today caught me off guard and I failed to keep myself hydrated. I felt great for the first 14 miles, but then the wheels came off. I had to stop and stretch out my hamstrings several times, and by mile 19 I was walking, still 4 miles from home. Luckily my running partner sent a car back for me when he finished. Not the run I was looking for 3 weeks out from the marathon.

The video below is my left calf still spontaneously cramping 2 hours after the run. I can't believe I got that dehydrated despite all the fluids I carried with me.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Finally some rain

Day 635 - September 27, 2010

My first run in the rain in what seems like months. The light rain was a welcome relief from this weekends heat.

The miles are really adding up again this month, but I'm going to fall just short of 200 again. Today's run brought me to 173 with 3 days to go. The crazy thing is I was so happy to get to 1460 miles last year, and this year I'll probably get there before the beginning of November.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Busy month - lots of running

Day 632 - September 24, 2010

This month is flying by, but the streak and marathon training are going well. This morning I ran 21 miles before work. It was gross out (humidity) and that made it a tough run, but my pace was still very respectable.

Five weeks to go.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My theory about dogs may be wrong

Day 617 - September 9, 2010

In general when I'm running, it is the ankle biters that I have a problem with. Big dogs are generally just curious or prefer to defend their yards. Before today, I'd never been bitten by a large dog. BEFORE TODAY! Grrrr.

Today I was running through the neighborhood with a friend when two large dogs came running out of their yards barking. My first thought was, "no big deal, big dog, they'll back off". The first dog nearly clipped my heels as he passed behind me, but he left me alone. The second dog was a split second behind him and I thought he would pass by the same way - right up until he bit me squarely in the butt.

The owner was in the yard and made a weak attempt to stop them, but didn't show much effort until I yelled at the dog. When she asked me if the dog bit me and I said yes, her response was, "well he doesn't normally bite people". REALLY??? So he does bite people sometimes? Here's an idea - don't let your dog outside without a leash if it has EVER been known to bite people.

So now I'm waiting to hear back from animal control as to whether or not I need to start rabies vaccine treatments - this should be awesome! Hopefully I can avoid that and just deal with two puncture marks and a welt. Animal control made me document the entire incident with a written report and pictures. Nothing like having to take a photo of your own butt!

Stay safe out there and never take any dog for granted - you just never know.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

End of August - 2 months until MCM

Day 608 - August 31, 2010

20 months - that's how long the streak is now. Here are the stats so far:
YTD: 1143
Streak: 2603

YTD: 148:27:32
Streak: 337:33:28

August was another good month for me. I logged 188 miles, ran a good 5K, and even completed a 20 miler. I'm feeling pretty good about my training for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. Tomorrow I will run another speed/interval workout at the track and keep working to bring my mile splits down. I'm thinking Yasso 800's and I'm going to try and stay under 3:00 min. I feel like the endurance is right on track, I just need to get faster. I'll keep working and hopefully my goal of breaking 3 hours will be reached.

Have a great September!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

20 miles

Day 605 - August 28, 2010

The marathon training schedule said twenty for today and I decided to run the Charlottesville 10 miler course twice. My friend Mike decided to join me for the entire thing and Roger met us at the track for the first 10. We started really slow at 5:40 this morning and the first mile was around 8:30 pace. Over the next few miles we gradually loosened up and the miles passed more quickly. I think our average pace was below 8 min/mile by mile 5, but definitely by mile 6. Normally when I run the 10 miler course, my body starts telling me we are almost done around mile 8 and by mile 9, it is shouting at me it is time to stop. But today, I was pleasantly surprised that the first 10 miles clicked off rather effortlessly as far as 10 miles goes. We finished the first lap in 78:30.

After a short hydration break and saying our good-byes to Roger, Mike and I started out on the second loop. I would have been perfectly happy to maintain that pace and run an even split for the second lap, but that was not to be. We started out much quicker than the first lap and got to mile 11 in about 7:55 and followed up with the next three miles or so at 7:50ish pace. As always happens, we picked up the pace running the long downhill on Preston Ave, but we never slowed down after that. In fact, we averaged 7:10's for the last three miles. Our second lap was nearly 5 minutes faster than our first!

Back in April, Mike ran a PR on that same course and finished in 75+ minutes. Today, on the second lap of a 20 miler, he ran 2 minutes faster than that. Way to go Mike!

Tomorrow I'll take it a bit easier. My legs are pretty sore from today. But I feel confident that I am in good shape and the training is progressing better than expected. Nine weeks to go!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wow, I missed Day 600

Day 601 - August 24, 2010

The days just keep on rolling. I actually thought today was day 600, but when I checked it was 601. I guess that's a good sign that the streak is safe for awhile and I'm not ready to quit.

If you get a chance today, click on over to The Longest Run. ACE gave the Leadville 100 a shot this past weekend, and although it didn't go as planned, he still has 32+ miles to be very proud of. Just attempting a race of that difficulty is an accomplishment. Great Job ACE!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Day 598 - August 21, 2010

Today it was clicking! I intentionally let all the kids sprint out ahead at the start of the race and waited for the path to widen before getting up to race pace. The last thing I wanted to do was knock an over ambitious youngster down at the bottleneck. At the half mile, I was comfortably in the top 15 and working my way up through the pack. I hit the mile mark in 5:50 and was in 6th place and right on the heels of the lead pack as we started the first climb of any length. I quickly passed the next two runners to move into 4th and set my sights on 2nd and 3rd place. The climb was a little over a quarter of a mile, and when I reached the crest and made the turn back down, I managed to get the inside angle and slip past those two and move into 2nd place. First place was about 5-10 seconds ahead and looked to be running comfortably, but wasn't really accelerating on the down hill which allowed me to close the gap and pull up on his shoulder. I thought for a second that he was going to fade, so I made a move to get into first. My expectations for this race was a solid top 10 finish and at the halfway mark, I was leading. Probably the first time in a race with over 100 people since I was in college.

We started back up the hill toward the 2 mile mark and unfortunately I surrendered first place back. We went through 2 in 12:02 - much better than I had expected. I wish I could say that I put on a furious charge and managed to regain the lead, but the leader was able to pull away. I did hang on for second place and finished in 18:46, which is over a minute faster than last year. I also received a $35 gift certificate to my favorite running shop for my effort. All in all, a much better day than I was expecting.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back to back long runs

Day 592 - August 15, 2010

This weekend I scheduled two long runs. Saturday, I met a friend and we ran 18 miles @ 7:45 pace for a pretty decent run. On Sunday, another friend asked me to run his 11 mile long run with him and I thought what the heck. We ran much slower, but still managed 9:30's. I think 29 miles in 27 hours is the most I've done in that time frame. I was a little sore after the run, but so far I think I managed to finish without hurting myself. The real test will be tomorrow!

The two long runs give me 95 miles for the month already - in June, I finished with 110. I think I'll do a little better than that this month.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Breaking 1000 miles

Day 586 - August 9, 2010

This morning's five mile run puts me at 1002 miles for the year. that's 37 days faster than last year! 2010 is truely turning into a Y.A.K.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Time to review my goals from January

I was cruising through my friends' Facebook stati (I guess the plural of status is similar to the plural of octopus)and my good friend at Empowering Moments - Personal Training for the Body, Mind, and Soul asked the question - how are those New Years Resolutions coming along? At first I thought, man I'm killing it. But then I wondered, am I? So below, I've relisted them with the current updates:

1. Run everyday and accumulate at least 1500 miles
- So far so good...on pace for 1600 miles

2. Break 18:30 in a 5K
- first race is in two weeks - we'll see how it goes

3. Break 65 minutes in the Charlottesville 10 miler
- done - Ran sub 63 minutes

4. Break 24 minutes in a 4 miler
-Men's 4 miler is in December - we'll see

5. Run at least 3 races of 10 miles or more
- 2/3 complete - scheduled a marathon on October 31

6. Run a marathon or 2 half marathons
- ran a half marathon, full scheduled on October 31

7. Qualify for Boston
-remains to be seen on October 31. Back-up plan is Richmond in November

8. Do at least 100 push-ups in a single set
- Got to 70 and then fell off the wagon. Need to restart program.

9. Do at least 15 pull-ups in a single set
- Got to 7 and then fell off the wagon. Need to restart program.

10. Do at least one 50 mile ride on my bike.
-Wow, completely forgot about this goal. I haven't even had my bike out yet. Time to get started on this one!

Looks like I'm on the right track for 7/10, but I have some work to do. I'm going to try and hold myself accountable for the rest of the year and hopefully get there without screwing up my marathon training. But since many of my goals hinge on that marathon, I'll let the others go if something has to suffer.

Being flexible

Day 579 - August 2, 2010

The alarm went off this morning and I hit the snooze as fast as I could. A morning run just wasn't going to happen. My legs were still tired from Saturday and I was suffering a bad "case of the Mondays". Instead, I packed a bag and decided I would run an old favorite. As soon as I was done at the office I drove over to the old neighborhood and ran the trails around the lakes. It was a great change of pace and the six miles I logged are much better than the two I would have struggled through had I run this morning. Some days I don't have that kind of flexibility, but I'm glad I did today!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A perfect morning for a long run...

Day 577 - July 31, 2010

...and I took advantage! I meet a friend at 5:30 and we were off. The temperature was about perfect in the mid 60s and the humidity was very low. Around mile 4, the sun started to break the horizon turning the clouds a fiery pink before rising above them and passing up the opportunity to fry us on the open road. Even with our planned stretching and rehydrating breaks, we were finished with the 16 miles before 8:00! I felt great and probably could have done another couple of miles with no trouble. But, I'm happy with my 43 for the week and 182 for the month! My goal of 175 turned out to be a piece of cake.

The streak is now 19 months complete. Here are the stats:
July - 182 miles
YTD - 212 days, 954 miles, 123 hours, 15 min, 30 s
Streak - 577 days, 2415 miles, 312 hours, 21 min, 26 s

Saturday, July 24, 2010

back to back hour 1 hour plus runs

Day 570 - July 24, 2010

Got out early again today and ran another 8+ miles. That gives me 23 in the last two days and 44 for the week. I need 36 more to get to 175 for the month! After this week, that should be a piece of cake (Famous last words!)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Daily commute

Day 569 - July 23, 2010

Today I ran to work. Now for some, that would be no big deal, but I have a 20 minute drive on a normal day. Commuting to work for me requires a 14+ mile run. Perfect for my long run this week and right on schedule for my marathon training! The best part was I convinced my carpool partner to join me. I "picked him up" two miles into the run and we ran the rest of the way into the office. We were both pretty tired, but it made the run more fun having someone to commiserate with.

Today's run also put me over 900 miles for the year and gave me 130 for the month. With 8 days remaining, I only have 45 miles to go to reach 175! That would be my best month since college. Hopefully this will all pay off in October!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

107 miles in 20 days

Day 566 - July 20, 2010

Here we are just 20 days into the month and I have almost matched my total miles for all of June. With today's 8 miles at the track, I've logged 107 miles for the month. Crazy.

Today was one of those days where compromises were required. I've been encouraging my wife to run more and to meet her running partner in the mornings before I have to go to work. Well, yesterday I was going to get up early and go to the track for an 8 mile interval workout but I overslept and was lucky to have time for 2 miles. No big deal, I'll just run it on Tuesday. Whoops - that's the wife's day to run early.

Knowing that we have solid plans this evening, there was only one option. Get up and run BEFORE my wife's early morning run. Yes in deed, I was out of bed at 4:45 am, out the door at 5:05 and on the track to start at 5:16! After a mile warm-up, I ran 8x800m repeats with a 400 jog in between. I then drove home so the wife could leave for her run and I ran a mile in front of the house while the kids slept. Turns out I finished my mile before the wife even pulled out of the driveway, so all turned out well and I was finished with 8 miles before most of my neighbors were even awake.

And to all those people who say they don't have time to run, I say "Pishaw"! If you have the will, you have the time.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Running in new places

Tonight was one of those serendipitous moments when by pure chance I picked the right direction to start my run.

When I booked my hotel for today, I thought I was going to be near the river and less than a mile from the mount Vernon/Potomac river trail (I'm sure that's not the right name, but it doesn't really matter). When I got to my hotel last night, I realized I was in strip mall off the interstate hell. No sidewalks. 1000s of cars. No where near the river. I'm really not sure how I made that mistake.

Anyway, I still needed to run. I poured over Google maps and nothing looked like an obvious place to run. So, I just decided to wing it, dodge the cars as best I could, log a couple of miles, and call it a day.

At the first intersection, I decided to change direction. I really don't know why I did, but less than a mile later I was on a bike path with no traffic. How lucky was that! I ended up running a fairly safe 6 miles. I even beat the thunderstorms, but I looked like I had been out in a downpour when I was finished. It was a bit humid, but I didn't care. I proved yet again that getting out is over half the battle. I was ready to bag the run, instead I logged 6 miles, just because I didn't give in. Awesome.

Hope everyone else had a good run today!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Interval training

Day 553 - July 7, 2010

Made it to the track for my second interval session of the last week. On Sunday I managed a 4x800 workout which was considerably slower than I expected, but I blamed that on all the travel. Today I ran 3x1600 and was much happier with my times. I was expecting to run sub 6:30 pace, but was much faster with times of 6:22, 6:17, 6:18. From here I hope to get my interval times down and increase the number of reps to where I can run 10x800s or 6x1600s.

Less than four months to Marine Corps.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

family group run

July 3, 2010
What a great run. I convinced the wife to run a couple of miles with me before it got dark. As we were lacing up our shoes, my nephew asked if he could join us. We started down the street and Nephew #2 and daughter and daughter #2 came running out of the backyard to join us. It was a lot of fun to spend a half hour running as a group. Being late on the day, lots of people were sitting in their yards and cheered for us when we ran by. When we finished, I went back out and repeated the loop and logged five miles for the day.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Day 548 - July 2, 2010

The last 48 hours have been crazy exercise. I ran twice on Wed for a total of 5 miles plus played an hour and half of pick-up basketball (mostly full court). Yesterday I played an hour of ultimate football then went out for an 11 mile run last evening. Today I barely made it through my two mile recovery run. I'm feeling old today. I haven't been this sore in a long time!

Hope everyone enjoys their holiday weekend.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

18 months complete

Day 546 - June 30, 2010

The running streak has reached 18 months and despite not reaching my 6 month goal of 800 miles, I am well on my way to another record year. I had hoped to finish June with 140 miles, but came up 30 short. Considering all that was going on at work and a week of vacation, I'm pleased to have completed 110.

Here are the latest streak and year totals:
Streak - 546 days
Miles - 2233
Time - 288:43:29

2010 - 181 days
Miles - 773
Time - 99:37:33

My goal for July is 175 miles. It is time to start cranking up the mileage to get ready for the Marine Corps Marathon in October, which is 4 months away. I'm feeling good about my fitness, but it is time to let the rubber meet the road.

Congrats to Doug at Doug Runs 365 days in 2010 for making it halfway to his goal of running everyday in 2010. Keep it up Doug!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hate to be a downer

Day 534 - June 18, 2010

Work is killing me - well not literally, but my running is suffering. Not going to make 140 mile this month, so 800 will have to wait. If I can make it to July, I think my mileage will return.

Hope your June is going better than mine.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday Long run

Day 528 - June 12, 2010

My long run today saved my week! I was out the door before 6am today and had knocked out almost 13 miles by 7:45. Glad I didn't wait any longer to get out the door - the humidity was terrible and it is headed toward 90 today. I think I'll head to the pool and watch some world cup. Go USA!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Didn't keep my promise

Day 527 - June 11, 2010

I can't believe another week has past without a post. I've got to find a better system. This week has been a lot of short runs but I will make up for it tomorrow. Hope everyone is having a good June!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Crazy busy

Day 520 - June 4, 2010

It has been a crazy couple of weeks and it won't slow down for another two, but I am still running everyday and getting the miles in. I'll try and be better about posting over the next two weeks.

Tonight's run felt great. I don't know what the difference was, but my stride felt effortless. When days like today happen, I don't hold back. I kept pushing the pace and ran the second half over a minute faster than the first. That's about 30 seconds per mile for a 4 mile run!

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

End of May

Day 516 - May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day.

I finished May with an 8 mile run that gave me 140 miles for the month and 662 miles for the year. Another 140 miles this month and I'll be at 800 for the first half of the year - sounds like a goal to me.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New set of tires

Day 508 - May 23, 2010

I upgraded my shoes today and man were my feet appreciative. My last several pair of shoes have been the Asics 2150 or 1150 series shoes. I've been disappointed that a $100 shoe like the 2150 can be so variable in durability. My current pair were dead before 300 miles, but I unwisely stretched them out to 330 or so. This time I decided to upgrade to the Kayano and wow, what a difference. The road felt so soft today. If I can get a few more miles out of them, all the better. Hopefully this will help get rid of the aches and pains I've been feeling the last week or so. I've got a bad spot of tendinitis in left Achilles that I've been icing every day for a week. It hasn't forced me to cut back on mileage yet, but it does hurt a bit when I don't move it for awhile. For now, I'm hoping the shoes will help. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Half Way

Day 500 - May 15, 2010

Wow, I can't believe 500 days have past since I started the streak. For my 500th run, I rolled out of bed early (for a Saturday) and headed out the door just as the sun was breaking over the horizon. I decided today I would run ~10 miles on country roads at a leisurely pace and just enjoy the run. It was gorgeous outside with temperatures in the 60's, a slight breeze, and clear skies. The pollen was about as thick as I've ever seen. At one point, I noticed smoke coming out of a hay field and as I ran up to investigate I realized it was just grass pollen! Crazy.

After 500 days, I'm still enjoying the streak and look forward to another 500.

Have a great weekend,

Friday, May 7, 2010

A day of bragging

Day 492 - May 7, 2010

Ok, I'm turning off any amount of humble filter I have, so if you don't want to read about my self boasting, now would be a good time to hit the back button and continue on with your web surfing.

Still here? Good.

So here goes, I'll try not to hurt myself patting my own back.

First off, the Official Tough Mudder results have been verified and were posted today. I thought I did pretty well and was really happy with my time of 57 minutes. But to be honest, I figured I probably finished somewhere in the first 200-300 people. Boy was I wrong! I finished in 42nd place! I couldn't believe it. That should be good enough to put me in the top 5% that get invited to the national series final, and have a chance to be the World's Toughest Mudder. Not bad for a 37 year old bald guy.

The second thing I want to toot my own horn about is my lifetime mileage. With today's 3 mile run, I now have logged 15,000 miles. The Pacific Ocean is less that 13,000 miles at its widest point. You know which two cities are 15000 miles from one another? Go ahead, guess. That's right - none! Because 15000 miles is more than half way around our little planet. Ok, ok, I know you don't have to take the shortest distance. But if I told you that New York and Philadephia were 24,000 miles apart, you wouldn't believe me either.

Ok, I'm done. That was fun. Now back to running! Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mileage milestone

Day 490 - May 5, 2010

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Today's run put me over 2000 miles for the streak. If all goes well, I'll log another 1000 by the end of the year.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Day 487 - May 2, 2010

Mission Accomplished! The Tough Mudder was an absolute blast! I was really hoping to have a ton of photos to share, but my crack photography team (wife and daughters) went down with a stomach bug and couldn't make it to the race. Bummer, but thankful they didn't share it with me. I'll post anything I can get my hands on from Brightroom when they go online.

I was fortunate to be in the 2nd starting wave (there were 10 waves of 500 people each. If you ever have a chance to do a race like this, getting in the early waves is very important - I'll explain more later.

The day started with the gathering of the first two race groups in their respective corrals. The climb up the hill was quite exciting, and I was eager to go. The problem is I had an hour to wait before my start time. Some shade or tents would have been nice, and I expect they will have them at later events. Sitting in the sun cooking for an hour was not ideal.

The first group was off precisely at 11:00 to a hail of fireworks. It was pretty awesome. The second group then moved down to the starting area and we waited to be released.

At 11:15 we were off and moving in mass down the snowless tubing hill. While not that steep, it was difficult to start with that many people. The photographer trying to get the start somehow ended up right in front of me and I plowed right into him - hope he signed the waiver too!

At the bottom of the hill we turned around and had to climb all the way back to the top up a maintenance road. It was steep in parts, but I was able to run most of the way. A lot of people started walking at the bottom of the hill so I had to weave in and out of a lot of slower people. At the top of the first climb was a 100 ft long pile of snow. I dropped down on my hands and knees and did the mandatory sweaty Yeti crawl. With temperatures in the high 80's, I didn't mind the snow at all.

From the snow pile it was a gentle down hill run to the next obstacle, the Devil's beard, a long section of cargo nets that you had to run underneath. As I approached the net, I saw the guy in front of me turn around and run backwards. It was brilliant! In stead of getting tangled in the net, it simply slid up my back and over my head. I backpedaled as fast as I could and was out in no time and on my way through the woods to obstacle 5 where I picked up my log and was off up the hill. I carried the log like a football, switched arms a couple of times, but was up and back down the hill much faster than I expected. So far, the obstacles were pretty easy, but that was all about to change.

The Cliff Hanger (#6) was as tough as advertised. After dropping my log, the course turned uphill. Uphill is a bit of an understatement. Vertical is a better description. I don't know if people actually ski down that slope, but it was ridiculous. People were dropping like flies. Most were crawling. I zigged and zagged my way up the slope trying to take some of the slope out of the hill, but it was still like walking in slow motion. I don't know the exact vertical change, but someone said it was about 500 feet in less than a quarter of a mile. What a relief to finally get to the top and start the two mile trail run.

In the woods, I really started to enjoy the event. The trail was in great shape and there was only one fallen log to get over. I passed a good number of people from the first starting group in the woods and they were all very gracious in making room for me to go by. The tire tunnels (Boa Constrictor)turned out to be plastic drainage pipes about 24" in diameter. Thank God. The thought of climbing through old tires sounded very hard. The pipes were much easier and I slid right through them. From there it was a short run to the mud pit (Swamp Stomp).

The people ahead of me at this point were slowly walking into the mud and taking their time. I was having none of this and jumped in at full speed splashing mud and water everywhere. It was awesome. I just kept going and made it down to the Kiss of Mud barbed wire crawl.

This was the second of the really hard obstacles. Literally, the wires were less than a foot off the ground. I had to lay completely flat to get under them. I have to say I was really glad they went with straight wire and not barbed. No one would have gotten out of there without stitches at that height. The wires were less than a foot apart as well and they made the path zigzag in a Z shape. By far, the hardest of the non-hill obstacles. I was scraping so hard on the ground that I ripped my race bib right off my shirt and never found it.

After the wires, it was a mad dash (controlled fall) down one of the ski slopes to the water obstacles. I assumed I would last about 5 seconds on the rope bridges and have to swim across the lake. Turns out, I did much better and made it all the way across without falling. With that boost in confidence I went straight to the under water tunnels and swam under all three blue barrels. From there it was a short run to the next pond and was back in the water with a dive off the 6 foot high planks into the deep water. Not being a good swimmer, this was a hard obstacle for me. After jumping in, I had to swim out past a buoy and then back to shore. I was pretty tired when I finished the swim, but there were walls to climb.

To help people get through the obstacle, they built 4 walls and you had to climb over 2. I scaled both fairly easily. From there I ran up and down the hill to get to the giant Slip and slide. The Tough Mudder folks had put down clear plastic and were pumping water to the top of the hill. I don't know how high the hill was, but it took several seconds to get to the bottom and I was sliding fast enough to skip across the water when I hit the lake. I felt my hip hit a rock on the way down, bu didn't think much about it. When I got home, I had a nice baseball size bruise that was a pretty cool shade of purple.

Crawling out of the lake for the last time, I ran the final half mile to the fire pit. This ended up being a bit anti-climactic. Instead of running through fire, the path was lined with burning straw. So you just ran between two fires. No where near as exciting as described. The final 17th mystery obstacle is the greatest mystery as I still don't know what it was. There was nothing there. I guess the insurance company must have said that truly bad-ass was not going to fly. I sure am glad I paid 20 extra buck for event insurance (which was required)to have the insurance company make everything less dangerous.

The only real negative I have to say about the race were the lines that backed up at the obstacles later in the day. 10-20 minute waits were common and the water slide backup was over an hour before they closed it down. I was fortunate in the second group that I never got backed up. I felt bad for the people who basically had to stop racing once they hit the water obstacles.

All in all it was a great event that I would do again. I hope that future events will be tougher. This was not the toughest thing I had ever done. I finished in 57 minutes - way faster than the predicted average of 2.5 hours. I think the course was shorter than the reported 7 miles too. I doubt I ran 8 min miles ;) on those hills.

But, it definitely was the most fun I've had in a race and I hope to find similar events to do in the future.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tomorrow is the day

Bring it on Tough Mudders.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Hills before the mudder

Day 485 - April 30, 2010

I closed out April with a 6 mile run on hills in the heat. I was actually glad today was warmer and waited until 4pm to run so it was good and hot. Sunday at the Tough Mudder is forecast to be in the high 70's and 80's. That will be a shock to a lot of people who have been training in the 50's and 60's. I also picked a run with the longest hills I could find for one last workout before charging up those ski slopes at Bear Creek. I can't wait to run this race. I'll post a recap as quickly as I can - hopefully Sunday night, but probably on Monday.

Here are the stats for April.

April - 131 miles
Year to Date - 522 miles
Streak to Date - 1982 miles

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Trail Run - Hightop Mountain

Day 479 - April 24, 2010

I'm so far behind on posting but I'm going to try and catch up. Here's an account of the trail run I did this past Sunday.

When my running partner canceled on me at the last minute, I decided to head up to Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park and get one more trail run in before the Tough Mudder. To keep it simple, I chose the first trail south of the Swift Run Entrance. The Hightop Mountain trail starts at an elevation of 2637 feet above sea level and quickly rises to over 3500 ft (3608 according to my GPS).
The trail was in really good shape. I had no trouble with footing and there was only one section where it was especially rocky. No, the hard part was the climb. Nearly 1000 feet in less than a mile and a half on the way out. I broke it up with several walking breaks, but I tried to keep moving.

The other difficult thing that I hadn't expected was the temperature and the wind. when I left my house, it was 60-65 and a little breezy. Up on Skyline it was easily 10 degrees colder and the wind was howling. Of course I was completely unprepared and only had on shorts and a t-shirt. I contemplated heading back down to lower elevations but decided to stick it out.

After reaching the summit, I started down the other side of the mountain and the next 2 miles or so went very easily. I cruised down the trail and my only concern was that I was going to turn around at Smith Roach Gap and run back up the same downhill I just enjoyed. It turned out to not be that bad and I walked even less on the way back.

I really enjoyed all the signs of spring. The trail was lined with fresh green grass and many different wildflowers. I stopped a couple times on the way back to snap a few photos.

All in all, I think I'm as ready for the race as I'm going to be. The climbs were not that bad and I was able to get back up to speed on the downhills. I'm really looking forward to the challenge.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Still Tired

Day 477 - April 22, 2010

The half took more out of me than I thought. I'm still not feeling very peppy on the runs. Another short run for me tonight - just two miles.

The official half marathon results went up last night. My official time is 1:24:35. I still think that is about 20 seconds faster than I really ran, but my finish photo showed 1:24:45 on the clock and I guess I could have been 10 seconds back from the line at the start. But, I have no idea how my watch time (1:24:57) and actual time could be so far off. Oh well. I'll gladly take an 8th place finish in a race with over 1000 people!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Still Recovering

Day 474 - April 19, 2010

Still in recovery phase from Saturday's half marathon. I feel pretty good, just some soreness in the hamstrings. Tonight was a beautiful evening for a run and I really enjoyed the 3 miles. I'll probably continue to take it easy until this weekend when I'll do one last long run before the Tough Mudder.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Charlottesville Half Marathon

Day 472 - April 17, 2010

Today's race went really well. I finished in 84:54, and 8th overall. The part I'm most pleased with was the strength of my finish. At 10 miles, I was 65:35 and really disappointed. That was over two minutes slower than my 10 miler time two weeks earlier. I knew I would be a little slower, but two minutes was way more than I expected. At that point, I thought my shot to break 85 minutes was done.

I figured I had nothing to lose, so I tried to pick up the pace, get to the top of Grady Ave and let it all out on Preston. When I finally reached the finish, I had done it. It took a sub 20 minute last 5K and sub 6 final mile, but I had broke 85 minutes and set a new PR in the half.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blame It on the Running High

Day 462 - April 7, 2010

Finally! After years of trying and waiting too long, this year I didn't procrastinate. I am officially registered for the Marine Corp Marathon in DC on October 31. I am very excited. I haven't run a marathon since 2003, but this is going to be the year I break 3 hours and qualify for Boston. I can't wait.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Photo from yesterday

My good friend Roger took this photo just before the 5 mile mark. Thanks Roger.

White Oak Canyon trail - This is a recovery run?

Day 459, April 4, 2010

What was I thinking...ok here's the deal. With the Charlottesville Half Marathon and the Tough Mudder races fast approaching, I needed a way to balance my road and trail running. There are three more weekends before the tough mudder and one of those is the half marathon. An 8 mile trail run the weekend before or the day after the half marathon sounded like a bad idea and I'm not sure how much benefit I would get from waiting until the weekend before the race. But, I really need the trail work. What to do?

As I posted yesterday, I ran the Charlottesville 10 miler and today should have been a recovery day. But I decided that today was the day to try the trail run. I called up a friend and off we went.

We found the lower trail head off of Rte 600 and started out at a leisurely pace up the trail. The first mile was a gentle climb and not too bad. But, then it got steep. The trail was in pretty good shape and there were plenty of waterfalls and views to distract from the pain of climbing. Near the top, the trail leveled out and there was another mile of relatively flat running before reaching Skyline Drive, 1 hour and 12 minutes after starting. Not bad for 5.2 miles....wait a can an 8 mile run on an out and back course be 5.2 miles at half way? I went over to the trail head sign and sure enough, the GPS was dead on. This run was going to be even further than the race yesterday. Fortunately, the down hill running wasn't too bad. I felt ever drop in my quads, but we were able to return to the car in just over 49 minutes. Not a bad pace for the terrain.

I'm sure I'll really feel it tomorrow, but I'm glad I got some experience in on the trails. I also have two weeks to recover before the next race, so I think I should be ready. I'll do some more trail running before May, but I won't tackle anything that long or steep. I need to really start thinking about the other obstacles and figuring out how I will maneuver them. It should be a fun 4 weeks.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Kicking butt in C-ville

I haven't posted an update on the running group in quite some time, but it is time to pay them their due. Of the 5 or 6 who ran multiple times with the group, 4 registered for the 10 miler and ran it today. Not only did they run the entire race, they all set personal bests. That is incredible. It was an awesome day.

Way to go Mike, Tyler, and Deb. You guys rocked today.

I also wanted to mention that I have checked off #3 on my list of goals for 2010. I crushed my goal of breaking 65 minutes in a 10 miler. 63:14 today and that is a personal best by almost 56 seconds. What an awesome feeling!

Charlottesville 10 miler - 2010

Day 458 - April 3, 2010

Kick butt! Today's 10 miler went way better than expected. The forecast was for heat, but it never got that warm during the race. My goal was to break 65 minutes if all went well. At mile 1, I was a little nervous that I had gone out too fast, but at that point, there's nothing you can do about it. I decided to just go with it and if I hit the wall, I would deal with it. Mile 1 was 6:13 and I followed it up with a 6:17 for mile 2, 6:11 for mile 3, and 6:02 on the mostly down hill 4th mile. The 5th mile is where things start to get interesting as you run back uphill through the downtown mall. The crowds on the mall were great and I was feeding off the energy. I finished mile 5 in 6:09, probably the fastest I've ever run that mile. Miles 6 and 7 get pretty hilly and I was really pleased to run 6:25, and 6:30. I generally don't like the 8th mile. It is a long straight stretch up Main St with very few people. Mentally I find that really tough. But, this year was not too bad and I maintained a 6:33 pace. From 8 to 9, you run up hill through the corner and then turn uphill on McCormack through UVA. This stretch always slows me down and I've never done that mile in under 7 minutes before. Today, I crushed it in 6:38. With 1 to go, I picked it up and pushed as hard as I could for the last mile. I was rewarded with a final mile split of 6:12, my third fastest mile of the race. Official chip time - 63:14 a personal best by 56 seconds and 4 minutes faster than last year! I finished 54/2700+ and 8th in my age group (yes, it is a tough age group). Thanks to all the people and volunteers who made this such a great race.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Relaxing 5

Day 453 - March 29, 2010

Ran a nice 5 miles between rain showers today. The sun came out, the temperature was good, and the pace was comfortable. Today's run helped me reach the 140 mile mark for the month. I won't quite get to 160 like I had secretly hoped, but another 140+ month is nothing to sneeze at. I'll give it another shot in April.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Back to 100 Percent

Day 452 - March 28, 2010

HooRAY!! As hoped for, the hip is back to normal and the weekend runs were a success. On Saturday I decided to test the hip and do an out and back 5 mile run. If I felt good at 2.5, I'd extend the "out" another mile and make it a total of 7. I am happy to report that I felt great and with all that I added on, I logged over 8 miles and ran for over an hour pain free.

Today was the real test. The plan heading into this Saturday's Charlottesville 10 miler was one more interval workout at the track today, then sort of coast the mileage back down to taper for the race. That plan was fine until it decided to rain all day here. I kept waiting for a break, but it never came. I was less than thrilled to go out to the track in the pouring rain. Have you ever had one of those runs that you think will just get better if you keep procrastinating? It took over 30 minutes to force myself out the door.

I got to the track and was soaked by the end of the first two laps. I decided I would do at least two 800's and if it was terrible, I would quit and go home. I took 5 laps to warm up and then turned in a 3:02 for my first 800. Not too bad. After a 400 recovery, I came right back with another 3:02, and followed that up with a 3:00 minute 800. Ok, three down and I'm still doing ok. I took an extra lap and ran an 800 recovery before interval #4. That extra rest was like magic and I legged out a 2:56. There was no way I could end on the fastest 800 of the day, so I did another 2 lap recovery and finished the day with a 2:59 for interval #5. Totaling up all the cool downs and recoveries, I manged to run 6 miles in the rain and felt much better at the end of the workout than the beginning. Just the kind of confidence I was looking for going into race week.

God bless this streak! There is no way I would have run today without it. Getting through a week like this past one lets me know that the only thing between me and 1000 days is another 548 runs. The rest is just mental!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm still here

Day 448 - March 24, 2010

The streak continues, but as they say, life comes at you fast. I will be posting more regular updates soon. My training was going real well until yesterday when I pulled a hip flexor playing a pickup football game. I'm hoping it is just a strain, but the last two days have been 1 mile minimum runs. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be back to 100% by the weekend. we'll see.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Running in Mexico

Day 434 - March 10, 2010

Cancun is a beautiful place. The weather is amazing. I have logged three runs so far and will do one more tomorrow before returning home to Virginia. More run details to come.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday long run

Day 430 - March 6, 2010

Logged another long run today - 14.8 miles and it felt great. I finished the week with 42 miles which gives me 80 for the last two weeks. I'm leaving on a 5 day business trip in the morning that I expect will limit my miles next week. But, hey, how many other runners can say they ran in Cancun will trying to maintain a running streak and get to 1000 days?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Intervals - finally ran some speed

Day 427 - March 3, 2010

I had never done an interval workout on the road in the dark before tonight. After dinner (a very lite dinner) I went out for my run. The goal was to run easy for 4 minutes, then hard for 4 minutes, repeat. I chose a course of 6 miles and I was hoping to finish in just under 44 minutes. That equates to 5 easy hard cycles and a final 4 minute cool down. I ended up pushing the last two minutes of my cool down trying to beat the clock and ended up 5 seconds over. Not bad for a first attempt. All in all a good run and I think I can do it faster next time, hopefully before it gets dark.

One month until the Charlottesville 10 Miler!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A great February for running

Day 424 - February 28, 2010

I finished the month of February with 142 miles. That's one of my highest monthly totals and in only 28 days - an average of 5 miles a day. That's much better than I expected. I'm feeling really good heading into March and pleased with my progress extending my long runs. With 4 weeks until the 10 miler and 6 until the half, I feel like I'm right where I should be to have successful races.

Looking forward to the warmer weather that should arrive this month!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

14 miles around Charlottesville

Day 423 - February 27, 2010

I felt great today. I met up with a good friend and long time running partner and we set out for a mid-day long run. I had drawn up a long loop that would offer opportunities to break off and cut the run short if either of us just weren't feeling it, but the miles came and went pretty easily, even at a faster than normal pace. Even the hills felt easier today. We finished the first 11 mile loop and I still had 25 minutes before I had to pick up my daughter. Not wanting to just sit around, I said goodbye to my friend and tacked on another 3 miles. Perfect timing.

I'm feeling really good about my endurance, but I still need to get out there and do some speed work. I'll take it a bit easier on Sunday, but I think Monday is going to be a tempo run. 7:25 pace won't get me below 65 minutes in the 10 miler.

Today's run also brought my running streak total to 1700 miles in 423 days and YTD is 239 miles. If you typically read the blog with an aggregator, click on over to the website. I've added some gadgets from Daily Mile that keep track of my daily runs and upcoming races. If you are looking for more flair for your blog, you might want to check it out. Note: I just noticed that the posted workout doesn't match today's post. I've been backloading some runs from January into the Daily Mile and apparently the app is picking up on the posted date, not the date from the run. Oh well, it should be accurate tomorrow.

Hope everyone had a good weekend and was able to log some good runs.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Windy today

Day 421 - February 25, 2010

Thankful the snow that is pounding the Northeast bypassed Virginia this time, I won't complain about the winds today. I just bundled up, put my head down, and logged my 2.7 miles. It was a good day to rest the legs and get ready for Saturday's upcoming long run.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 420 on the way to 1000

Day 420 - February 24, 2010

The ice and snow are finally giving way to bare pavement and I was able to run my 5 mile route at work without any slipping and sliding. Other than a couple of deer who gave me a good stare down, and seeing a huge flock of bluebirds, there really wasn't anything remarkable to share from today. But I'm still grateful to have the health and opportunity to get outside everyday. Now that I think about it, having those few minutes out in nature was pretty remarkable.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Inspired by the challenge

Day 418 - February 22, 2010

Over the last several weeks, I've been reading several running blogs and the theme this year seems to be Accept the Challenge. First it was ACE at The Longest Run accepting the challenge and taking on the Leadville 100. For me, that sounded absolutely crazy. A race where they give you a prize just for finishing in under 25 - yes 25 - hours. But I was so impressed that someone would not only dare to run something like that, but also put it out for the whole world to know and hold you accountable. Good luck ACE!

Then I was reading about all the 50k+ races that are being run this year at left-right-repeat, and I thought, wow! That is some serious running. Not just one big race, but one every month.

Then Perry at Just Your Average Joggler not only takes on big running challenges, he does it while juggling. Earlier this year he ran (and juggled) over 32 miles in the Frozen Otter Ultra Trek over snow covered trails. Just over ten hours of juggling in the snow. Crazy, but I'm in awe of the fortitude it takes to accomplish that.

And of course, lest I forget, Mr. Nitmos from Feet Meet Street who declared 2010 to be the Year of the Ass Kicker (Y.A.K.). How can you not be inspired by a man seeking the "Puke Threshold".

All of this had me yearning to do more with my running. I wanted to do more than just run everyday. I needed a goal that would push me to my limits. And then I saw the ad on Facebook. A race that self declares to be the "toughest one day event on the planet". I had to know more.

I quickly googled "Tough Mudder" and was instantly hooked. Seven miles up and down the mountain at Bear Creek Ski Area with 17 ridiculous obstacles, such as crawling through snow, jumping off a 15 foot high plank into freezing cold water, navigating under water tunnels, belly crawling under 8" high barbed wire and running through fire. It sounds awesome. The average finishing time is expected to be two and a half hours. This is not your grandmother's Muddy Buddy.*

It took me a few days to work up the nerve, but last night I hit send on my registration and I am in. It is the first race I will ever participate in that the waiver actually says you have a "better than average chance of dying" in this race. I may be insane, but I am totally jazzed to attempt this.

What better way to make this year a YAK, than to complete the Tough Mudder on May 2. Only 67 more days to prepare. I can't wait.

* - That was a least until I finish the Tough Mudder.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Charlottesville Half Marathon - Officially Signed up

Day 417 - February 21, 2010

I've made my decision and signed up for the half marathon. I predicted a 1:29:00 finish, but I'm hoping that is a conservative estimate of my time. The race is to weeks after the 10 miler and I'm hoping that race will be a good stepping stone to a solid finish.

For my run today, I squeezed in 5 miles on a very muddy dirt road. The snow is finally melting and we had beautiful blue skies and temperatures in the 50s. It was a great day. I was a little sore from yesterday's long run, but I slowly loosened up and enjoyed the spring-like day.

And if you didn't get a chance to watch the USA vs Canada, you missed the best hockey game since 1980. From the first whistle to the last, both teams played their hearts out. That is what the Olympics should be all about. Most goals wins - no judging how pretty they look doing it!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Daily Mile

Day 416 - February 20, 2010

I signed up for the Daily Mile today. As best I can tell, the Daily Mile is a social networking site for runners and cyclists where you can log your activity and share it with friends. I'm sure it is more than that, but I'm going to give it try and see how I like it. If you'd like to check out my profile, my user name is CERuns.

Today was a long run and I was joined by a good friend that I have been running with for almost 10 years now. The plan was 13, but unfortunately that wasn't in the cards. I felt great. In fact it was one of the best runs I've been on in a long time. But my friend was recovering from a cold and the pace was a bit too fast for him. I have no doubt that he will bounce back and be ready to put a hurt on me next week. We cut the run a bit short, but still logged 11.4 miles. That was enough to put me at 36 for the week. My confidence for the Charlottesville 10 miler is building and I'm really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

three runnners equals 10 legs?

Day 412 - February 16, 2010

Nothing exciting about my five and half miles tonight. I did have two black labs follow me for over a mile and a half. Other than a friendly ramming in the back of the legs when they came out to greet me, they were pretty good at not interfering. I'm sure the passing cars were cursing me and my two dogs in the road, in the dark, but they weren't mine and I couldn't keep them out of the road. Oh well.

Hope everyone had a good run today.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What I like about running and hate about the Olympics

When you run, you know who wins. There's no judgment call in the clock time. First is first. I hate Olympic sports with judging. How can you fall in figure skating and still get a medal. Bogus. Bodie Miller gets a bronze because of some minor technical error in his run that costs him less than a 10th of a second. But a skater falls and it hardly affects the score and they can still medal. Unbelievable.

I'll stick with running.

Sorry for the rant.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A long run

Day 409 - February 13, 2010

I had an hour an fifty minutes of free time today which was perfect for a long run. I dropped my oldest daughter off at her Saturday enrichment class and I was off. I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted to get around Charlottesville, but I kept my options open and tried to find roads with clear sidewalks - not an easy feet. I also tried to include as much of the 10 miler course and Marth Jefferson 8K course as I could just so I could refresh my memory about the hills and road conditions.

It was great to have that much time. I just had to make sure I was back to pick up the girlie on time. When I realized I was going to finish my run 20 minutes early I tacked on an extra mile. I love having that flexibility and not feeling like I have to rush a 20 minute run.

With today's 12.2 miles, my weekly total was 38. That makes this the highest total of the year and one of the highest of the streak. I hope I can maintain that mileage for the next several weeks as I prepare for the 10 miler.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Run when you can - Run more later if you can

Day 406 - February 10, 2010

That was my mantra today. With the snow overnight, I got up early to shovel out and get ready for work. At 5:30 it was still snowing hard, but I shoveled the drive in about 40 minutes. That left me with a dilemma. There was just enough time to either crawl back into bed and catch a few Z's or change my clothes and head out for a 2 mile run.

Normally on Wednesdays we run as a group after work, but today's forecast was for some more snow followed by gusty winds of 30-50 MPH. My gut feeling was there was a good chance the running group would bail today and I didn't want to be running in the dark with those kinds of winds. So I changed my clothes and got my two miles in. I figured if the running group did go, I could run a short second run and bump my miles up where they should be for a Wednesday, and if they didn't, at least I had another day logged.

I arrived at work, grabbed a quick cup of coffee, turned on my computer and found out that while I was driving in, for the first time in at least five years, corporate decided to close the office. SCORE! I finished my coffee, chatted for a few minutes with the six other people who had managed to get into the office today, and then packed up and was home before lunch. That gave me plenty of time for a second run. It was great. Total mileage for the day was 6.2 - not bad for another snow day. Who says all this snow is bad.

As a bonus, today's mileage put me over 1600 miles for the running streak.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Five and half miles after dinner

Day 405 - February 9, 2009

What a difference a year makes. Last year on this date, it was 65 degrees and gorgeous. Tonight, I ran in the snow - again. If we get the accumulation that is forecast, we will break the all time record for snow accumulation for Central VA. Crazy. Granted, some areas of the country get this much snow in a single event, but 50+ inches is a lot for us.

Running in the snow hasn't been bad and hasn't affected my mileage, but I have been quite a bit slower on my runs. I also haven't done any tempo runs or fartleks on the icy roads. I still have time to get my speed up before the 10 miler, but I need to start soon. So if you don't see any posts about me doing some speed work, drop me a comment and hold me accountable!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Get your run in before the Super Bowl

Day 403 - February 7, 2010

I made sure to get my run in early today so I'd have plenty of time to get ready for the game. Just an easy 4.5 miles on some icy roads. More snow coming Tuesday and Wednesday this week - this is crazy. I may need to invest in some Yaktrax.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 2 of the Snowpocalypse

Day 402 - February 6, 2010

Days like today are what make a running streak fun. Yes there is 15" of fresh snow on the ground, and no the roads haven't been plowed, but you still have to run. With a running streak, you find away. Today, I was fortunate that a few brave souls had been out on tractors and in their 4-wheel drive trucks and left me tire tracks to run in. Otherwise, it would have been a very tough run though 10+ inches of powder that has fallen since they gave up plowing last evening.

The traction wasn't too bad today - I only slipped twice when I hit patches of ice from last weekend's storm that were covered in fresh snow. Fortunately I was able to maintain my balance and not fall like yesterday.

The snow was sticking to everything and really made for some nice photos. I'm glad I took the camera with me today. Hope you enjoy a few of the views I had today.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 1 of the Snowpocalypse

Day 401 - February 5, 2010

Snow has been coming down steadily all day. The current estimates are 22-28" for this area. I decided to go as far as I could today because I might be stuck on the treadmill tomorrow. The roads were slushy and snow covered but for the most part not as bad as I expected. The down hills were a bit treacherous. I actually fell one time and slid about 20 feet down the road - it was a steep hill. I met up with a friend two miles into the run and we ran together for about 3 miles before I peeled off to head home. All in all I ran almost 6.5 miles @ 8 min/mile pace. not bad considering the footing. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

400 Days Complete

Day 400 - February 4, 2010

I am 40% of the way to 1000! Nothing special today - just 3 easy miles after work and getting the kids dinner and off to bed. I'm going to try and make the most of the next 100 days and log at least 425 miles. That will put me at 2000 miles for the first 500 days.

So, here are the totals for the first 400 days:

Total Miles: 1575
Total Time: 203:58:34
Average Pace: 7:47

Check back tomorrow and Saturday to see how the running goes with 20-28" of snow in the forecast - should be fun!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 399 of my attempt to run 1000 straight days

Day 399 - February 3, 2010

Just a quick run after dinner tonight - 3 miles. I was slow, but I'll blame that on a full stomach and slushy roads. Bring on 400!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More snow

Day 398 - February 2, 2010

I am still in Virginia right? And people are still concerned about global warming? We are getting our 4th storm of the year right now and another major storm is forecast for this coming weekend. In a typical year we might get two snows all winter. I don't know how you cold weather guys do it.

Tonight's run was an eye stinger with snow constantly pinging my eyeballs. It was coming down hard enough to cover my tracks on the way back. Hopefully we will get less than the 4-8" they have predicted for tonight and it will have a chance to melt before we get another 1-2 feet this weekend.

On the bright side I ran 4+ miles tonight and only coughed for a few minutes after I finished. I think I'm finally shaking it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Felt good tonight

Day 397 - February 1, 2010

I ran with a friend after work tonight and felt comfortable for most of the run. I still have a nagging dry cough when I finish, but today I felt closer to 100% than I have in nearly two weeks. I'm not making any bold predictions on how soon I'll be back to normal mileage - we have more snow forecast for tomorrow and apparently there is a chance of the storm of the century this weekend. Thank goodness the wife decided we needed to replace our dead treadmill.

But, I did sign up for the Charlottesville 10 miler yesterday. The Charlottesville Marathon is probably out since I've lost two long runs, but I think I will run the half. The $70 entry fee makes me want to make sure I'll be in top form before I plop down that much cash. I'll make a decision by the end of the month.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

January ends - Running Streak enters 14th month

Day 396 - January 31, 2010

I'm not sad to see January come to an end. I did still manage to log 100 miles this month, but barely. That week of 1 mile survival runs while I slogged through my battle with the flu surely didn't help. But, I have 11 months to make up the 30 miles I'm behind.

Thanks to all for the well wishes while I recovered from the virus. Here's to a healthy February filled with good running.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Finally Fever Free

Day 393 - January 28, 2010

My fever finally broke yesterday and I went back to work today. I'm still far from 100% and my energy is still pretty low. I did push my run out to a mile and a half tonight which was just far enough that I coughed up both lungs when I finished. But, it's all down hill from here. I expect it will be another week before I feel 100%, but my pace was better today.

The important thing is I survived and so did the running streak. Thank you Motrin for giving me a small window each day where I could struggle through a run. On to 1000.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 5 - this is getting old

Day 390 - January 25, 2010

Today was the fifth straight day of having a fever of 101+. Ugggh. So, how do you keep a running streak going when you are that sick? My plan the last three days has been to load up on the motrin - wait for it to take full effect, then go out and plod through 1 mile, crawl back into bed, and sleep.

And for the record, I did go to the doctor today. They confirmed I was sick, thanks Doc, and told me it was probably viral. They ruled out H1N1 flu, which is what I thought it was going to be, but then told me the test has a 30% false negative rate. That's comforting.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to writing more about running and less about my health, so keep your fingers crossed and hopefully I will have this kicked in another day or so.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 3 of the fever that won't quit.

Day 388 - January 23, 2010

This is the third day of running a fever over 100+F. Yesterday I felt fine though the day and attempted what I thought would be an easy 3 miles after work. I struggled through the entire run - even took a rest break at the turnaround. By the time I drove home, I felt terrible and my fever was back.

Today, I'm still feeling the effects of the fever. As long as I keep the Motrin dosage where it needs to be, I feel less like death, but I have to admit that I contemplated not running today. Instead, I ran the bare minimum 1 mile loop in the neighborhood and the running streak continues. Hopefully the fever will not.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

fever and sleet - nice

Day 386 - January 21, 2009

I came home from work with a fever of 100.3 and I still needed to run today. To top it off, it was raining and sleeting. Awesome! Needless to say, I chose a short run. Two miles will have to be good enough.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

10 Miles in C-ville

Day 381 - January 16, 2010

Put in my first double digit mile run today. I met a few friends in Charlottesville to run. We broke into groups and ran runs of 5.5 to 10 miles. Roger and I ran the entire Charlottesville 10 miler course.

I had a hard time getting loose today and constantly watching out for the black ice that resulted from yesterday's thaw and refreeze made the first few miles tough. eventually I did feel better and we averaged 7:30's.

The 35 miles I logged this week made up for last weeks low mileage. If I can continue to put in long runs on Saturdays, I may just convince myself to run the C-ville Marathon in April.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Buddy Runner App

Day 379 - January 14, 2010

Today was a scheduled easy day so I decided to give the Buddy Runner App a try. I recently switched to Verizon and upgraded my phone to the Motorola Droid and one of the first things I did was look for a running app. The phone has a built in GPS and integrates with Google maps. I downloaded Buddy Runner, but had not given it a try until tonight.

The app worked as advertised, but I have to admit that running with my phone was a bit awkward. I'm sure I can get an arm band or something to make this easier, but I'm not sure it is worth it. The app records your pace and distance and allows you to upload that information, along with elevation changes and calories burned to a dashboard where you can analyze your runs. I like that the run is automatically displayed on a map and that you can see how your pace varies over the course of the run. The elevation feature didn't work very well considering I ran an out and back course (the profile should be symmetrical). I'll probably give the app another try, but for me, I don't see myself using this very often, not because of the app itself, but because of the inconvenience of carrying my phone while I run.

Anyone else using a mobile app for running? If so, what do you think?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

6 miles after work

Day 378 - January 13, 2010

Had a nice run tonight after work - even if it was dark by the time I finished. I had hoped to get out earlier, but work got in the way!

One thing I noticed tonight is that hills seem easier when you can't see how long they are. The route I chose had a mile+ long hill on the way back that has been a challenge on previous runs. Tonight I hardly noticed it. I guess that says something about the mental aspect of running. Anyone else had that experience?

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm in - I want to make 2010 a Y.A.K.

I came across a post on Feet Meet Street that made me immediately add the blog to my Google Reader. I mean, any guy who realizes that

"my “preview” is better than your “review” because it has a “p” in front of the word review."*

*This applies to many situations. Isn’t being “phat” better than being a “hat”? I thought so.
clearly has the right perspective about blogging and running. So I am vowing to make 2010 the Year of the Ass Kicker (Y.A.K.). I want to push the Puke Threshold, set a 5K and marathon PR, and possibly run an ultra (reality may prevent that one). I'm going to make 2009 look like the prequel to the best running year ever. Thanks Nitmos for the added motivation.