Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April Monthly Summary

I was really busy today and didn't have very much time for a run. Since I did not get any speed work in yesterday and since I was in a bit of a hurry, I decided to burn it out today. So instead of fartlek, it was really a 5 1/2 mile tempo run. I wanted to try out the chest strap again to see how it felt. At first there was a bit of pain for the first couple miles and pretty much turned into just a minor annoyance by the end. The weather was way better today as it was overcast and low 60s. I finished the 5.5 miles in just under 38 minutes to average 6:52 per mile with an average heart rate of 157. Oddly enough, that's only about level 3 for me. I had plenty more in the tank and definitely could have pushed it harder if I wanted to. That's the motivation booster I needed after the debacle of this past weekend. Given that I have something like 15 miles run at 7:00 min/mile pace with Andy tomorrow, I figured I better leave a little in the tank


Below are my totals for the month of April. For comparison, here is the March Monthly Summary. Even with my 90+ mile week, my running totals dipped a bit in April. With the rib injury and a slower start of the month, I barely broke 200 miles, but I still was able to hit the number for the 2nd month in a row. I commented last month on my poor lifting performance only to do even worse this month. That's just horrible. Especially since most of it came at the beginning of the month. Once the ribs heal I will get back to it. My core definitely needs some strengthening as I have not been doing it at the gym lately and not been making the ATP sessions where we also work on core.


For the year, I'm averaging nearly 200 miles a month, well on pace for my first 2,000 mile year.


I have been told that I may not be eating enough. I'd have to agree with that. Looking at my weight for the month, I lost another pound, some it muscle, but more if it fat. I definitely need to hit the gym more to reduce the amount of muscle that I continue to lose.


I also put together a overview of the year so far to see how things have progressed.


Some people have mentioned slight OCD on my part. I guess the fact that I keep track of all this stuff definitely indicates something. I know that I shouldn't own up to keeping track of all this information but hey, I'm a numbers freak and like to analyze data. Plus, if you're actually reading this maybe you do the same thing and you won't feel so odd knowing that someone else does it too. If not, then I guess I'm just a weirdo.

I watched Tuesday's American Idol tonight. I have to say, I just don't care much about this season any more. I'm not even looking forward to watching every week any more. Watching and listening to Paula acting like more of a donkey than she usually is made this week even worse. Based on performances, here my order for the week (followed by my expected order that they will get voted out.
  1. Syesha White (out this week or next)
  2. David Cook (will get first or second)
  3. David Archuletta (should get third)
  4. Brooke White (should be out next week, but could be this week)
  5. Jason Castro (absolutely needs to go, but will likely get 2nd or 3rd overall)


Food Journal


Food
  • 1 1/2 bowls Strawberry Medley Cereal with 10 oz Skim Milk
  • Original Jamba Juice - 3G Energizer with Protein
  • PowerBar
  • Peanut Butter and Pretzels
  • 2 Life Savers
  • Chicken Breast with BBQ Sauce, Brown Rice, Frozen Peas
Drink
  • 114 oz Water
  • 30 oz Coffee
  • 12 oz Diet Coke
  • ~8 oz Skim Milk
Comments

I ready need to get some healthy snacks at work. I've been pretty hungry lately and don't have many options. The peanut butter and pretzels is quite tasty and gives me a huge energy boost, but it's probably not the healthiest of options. The peanut butter gives me some protein (that I very much need) and lowers the ridiculously high glycemic index of pretzels, but is very high in fat. There is good fat there, but more than I'd like to eat as a snack.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Speed (Not) Session and GTA IV

Today's schedule called for ATP. This was the first time I could make it in a few weeks as I have had softball the past few weeks. As I woke up this morning with my ribs hurting again today and as I turned around to try to parallel park before the run, they really start to hurt. Given this, I wasn't expecting much out of the workout tonight. I got there a little early and got a good 5 miles in before anyone else showed up. No names mentioned :), but as it was nearly 10 minutes after the scheduled start, I was ready to head back to the car when the other two showed up. Since I wasn't expecting to be able to do many of the exercises tonight and the motivation of at least one of the other two was pretty low, we pretty much called off the workout. We did two miles and called it a night.

Since my ribs have now been bothering me for a good 10 days, I'm starting to wonder if maybe I need to take a week or two off completely and try let myself heal. Since the race is only 5 weeks away, I don't think that's the best idea. I'm hoping that over the next couple weeks things will heal a bit and then as I start to taper for RnR, that will force me to take it a bit easier. Maybe that will give me the recovery time I'm looking for. How frustrating would that be though to deal with sore ribs for 4+ weeks. I hope it doesn't come to that.

As of now, the plan is to do a good long tempo run on Thursday after work. I decided against running to work tomorrow and since I slacked off tonight, I think I will do some fartlek tomorrow too to get a 2nd speed session in for the week.

I'm really noticing that I need a plan. This "figure it out as I go" thing just isn't cutting it. As I prepare for my fall marathon (hopefully St. George), I'm going to follow the modified FIRST training program I did last year for St. George. That way I have specific speed sessions and other workout for each week. That gives me something to follow and it will make me faster. I'll post the plan once I find out what race I'm doing.

Since I have so much spare time with absolutely nothing to do, I decided to buy a new PS3 game today. As I'm sure every single other gamer out there did today, I bought Grand Theft Auto IV. This game has been given nearly perfect to perfect scores by nearly all reviewers. I loved the prior versions and seeing it on a next gen system will be awesome. It's 8:30 now. What the over/under on the amount of hours I play tonight? I'm guessing two, but I'm going to try keep it to one. I have so many other things that I need to do tonight, I can't really even do 1 hour, but I at least need to check it out. My tendency in games like this is to say, "OK, just one more thing". The next thing I know, my alarm is going off as it's time to get up for work. I really hope that doesn't happen tonight.


Food Journal


Food
  • 1 1/2 bowls Nature Valley Crunchy Cinnamon Cereal with 10 oz Skim Milk
  • left over spaghetti with red sauce and red bell peppers
  • Peanut Butter and Pretzels
  • 6 Life Savers
  • PowerBar
  • Campbell's Beef with Country Vegetable (with hot peppers)
  • 1/2 sleeve Crackers
  • 5 Otter Pops
Drink
  • 100 oz Water
  • ~30 oz Coffee
  • 12 oz Diet Dr. Pepper
  • 12 of Mountain Dew
  • 12 oz Skim Milk

Monday, April 28, 2008

Death March / Pseudo-Race Report

Sunday was the 22 mile run on the La Jolla Half Marathon course. Record temperatures were predicted all over the area. I left my house at 5:30 and it was balmy outside. My car thermometer told me the temperature in my neighborhood was between 77 and 79. Oh crap! Even though the plan was to go out, take it easy and just enjoy the company of 1000s of racers, it being that warm at this time of morning before the sun comes out is not very encouraging. Fortunately for us, there seemed to be some heat cloud on the top of the hill I live on. As I started headed down towards the freeway, I could feel it getting cooler, very fast. I found temps in the low 50s at one spot. As the coast is usually a bit cooler, I thought we may be OK. I was doing the run with one other guy and we met in a parking lot in the UTC area. The temp there was upper 60s. We took his car the rest of the way to the coast. I don't know the temps at the cove, but it was far from being cool. After walking down to the finish line, we headed out backwards on the course. The goal was to follow the course backwards. We expected to hit the leaders around mile 9 of our run, go about 2 more towards the back-to-middle of the pack and then run back towards the finish line with the race.

So, we are started. We're taking it easy. Just chatting and commenting about how warm it was already. We hit the hill going up La Jolla Shores (mile 2 in the image below) and there was no doubt, it was a hill. Doing this hill when your body doesn't really feel all that warm yet and it the heat we were in, knowing we still had twenty to go was a bit more difficult than you would think. We make it to the top and shoot all the way down Torrey Pines hill. We then approach the hill heading into Del Mar. By this time, I can tell that it's not the best run for me, but I can gut my way through it. As we approach the hill, my running buddy says, we should pick up the tempo heading up this hill to warm up our legs. I'm like, "hey, we've been running for 8 miles in very warm temperates". "I'm warm." But hey, I'm a sheep and follow what others do. So we pick it up heading up this hill into Del Mar. That hill burned me up pretty good, but I was able to recover as he head down hill a bit. We round the corner and finally see the leader of the race. I don't remember the exact pace, but he was less than 4 miles into the race and not moving all that fast for a 1/2 marathon. (This guy ends up winning the race in controversy and is later DQ'd.) About 2 minutes later we see this guy running all alone in the 2nd spot. We didn't see a number, but we he was running way to fast for any other kind of running. (See same link above as he comes in 2nd and is also DQ'd.) About 20-30 seconds later we start seeing more and more runners and then slow drip becomes a gushers. We must have passed a few thousand before we finally hit the turn around spot. There were so many people that would look at us and tell us we were running the wrong direction. It was funny at first, but by the 30th time, it got a bit old. We started telling them we would see them soon as we were running back to the finish line.

We finally hit mile 11 and it's time to turn around. We saw a few people we knew and as we turned around, we tried to pick up the pace to catch them. Looking at the image below, you see that pretty quickly after turning around we hit a nice little incline. By about mile 12, I'm feeling it hard. I'm trying to keep my legs going up the very steep incline, but I'm struggling, a lot. Fortunately, we start heading back downhill out of Del Mar. I was wearing my fuel belt and had 1-10 oz Water, 2-10 oz Nuun solution (1 Nuun tab each) and 1-10 oz Carbo Pro solution (5 scoops, 560 calories). I don't remember when I drank what, but as we did not pay for the race, I didn't want to drink any of the fuel/water on the course. So, I was trying to pace my fuel/liquid so I would have enough to hit the finish line with energy. Even though I was being conservative, I could see I wouldn't make it to the finish. Back to the run. We headed downhill out of Del Mar heading towards the Torrey Pines hill. I was dreading it big time. It comes at only mile 14 of our run, but as I was not feeling it today, I knew it would be a struggle. (I've avoided giving out other names in this blog as I do not know that others want me to use their names in here. It takes a bit out of the stories to not mention the names. So I will change my approach now. Please let me know if you'd rather me not mention your name.) We hit the bottom and pass Amy and Anthony as they are heading up the fun little hill. I was feeling like crap, but since I saw them walking, I say hi and offer words of encouragement and wish them luck. As most of you know, I was running with Andy. I could tell he was full of energy and he usually likes to push it up this hill. I told him to go, but he didn't want to leave me. I struggled, and struggled and eventually made it to the top. By this time, I was nearly out of fuel. I was hurting big time. Andy ran up ahead to the water stop and got a drink. As I got there, I had to get a drink. I got a cup or two and walked the station to get my HR back down. (My ribs are still hurting so I still cannot run with my HR strap on. Probably a good thing not to see how bad things were.) We take off again running together. By this time, I'm way overheated, my ribs hurt in front and by this time, I started to develop a matching pain right behind that spot in my back. Off and on to the finish line, this causes a lot of pain and agony. I was unable to talk towards the very end as it was getting worse.

The last 6-7 miles drug on and on. Looking at the image below, you can see how my pace continued to slow more and more and I took more and more walk breaks. My ribs were hurting worse as we'd go downhill so I was unable to even pick up the pace going down hill. I continued to take anything I could get from the water/fuel stations. I probably had 4-6 cups of whatever electrolyte drink they had and probably another 5ish cups of water. Even with that and everything in my fuel belt, I think I was still very dehydrated at the finish. I think I only took in about 350 calories of the Carbo Pro as everything sweet was making me nauseous. I was a walk a couple times to prevent my self from puking. In addition to that fun, I was also getting stomach cramps. I think I had a major electrolyte imbalance in addition to dehydration.

We eventually make our way down Prospect heading towards the Cove. At this point, people were asking those without numbers to peel off to the left. So Andy and I ran through La Jolla with the plan of going to the car to pick up my lottery form for St. George Marathon to give to John. We got to the car and my GPS showed 21.99. I had absolutely no desire to tack on the extra 1/100th of a mile to hit even 22 mile mark that my Type A running personality usually requires. I was done. Neither Andy nor I felt like walking approximately 1 mile down hill to give the form to John as it would also mean walking 1 mile up hill. So we got in the car and headed back to my car.



This was easily in my top 5 for worst running days of my life. It might just be number 2 right behind my 2004 Boston performance. It sucked. Partially because it ridiculously hot, but also because it was an extremely difficult race to run. On more than 1 occasion during that race I said I would never register for and run that race. It is a very scenic and beautiful course, but it is not easy. I like to push myself during races and with all the hills, I don't really feel like this is one that you can push yourself to PRs on. I guess if you want to do it for fun, it might not be so bad.

I was pretty much useless the rest of the day. I got home and hopped into a cold ice bath for a good 20-25 minutes. Usually a few hours after my 18+ mile runs I start getting a headache. My headache started about 1 hour after on Sunday. It either because I don't eat or drink enough during a run. I guess this is another indicator that I was dehydrated. I didn't do too much else the rest of the day other than just be tired. I was ready for bed at 7:30 and fell asleep at 8:30 as my wife was watching TV. I woke up as she shut the lights off at 9 and was out again pretty quickly. I slept a good 9 hours last night and was still quite tired yet today. Wow, what a day.

I'm thinking this may put a bit of a damper on my idea of 100 miles this week. I already altered the schedule as I was planning on running to work today. My car showed that Sunday hit 100 right outside my house. Temps were supposed to be about 15 degrees cooler, but my thermometer at showed 100. Ugh! Another hot one. Another good reason that I didn't run to/from work today. I did force myself to get out there and do 5.5 slow miles today. It was 97 degrees at that time. Bad, but at least I was expecting it this time.

As I tend to be a bit of an idiot, here is the plan for the rest of the week. Tomorrow is ATP with the group, Wednesday, I may run to work and Thursday will be something like a 15 mile tempo run at projected race pace which is about 7:05. Friday will be a day off and then Saturday will be 15-18 miles. If I do all this, I will end the 7 day period with approximately 85-90 miles. Short of 100, but quite a bit nevertheless. I know, I'm an idiot. On that note, I've got some things I need to do before I try to get some sleep tonight.


Food Journal


Food
  • 1 1/2 bowls of Cinnamon Oatmeal Crunch with 12 oz Skim Milk
  • Whole Wheat Penne with Meat Sauce and Chicken (left overs)
  • PowerBar
  • 2 Pop-Tarts
  • Tombstone Pizza
Drink
  • 157 oz Water
  • 25 oz Coffee
  • 12 oz Diet Dr. pepper
  • 24 oz Skim Milk

Friday, April 25, 2008

When Sharks Attack

Back when I was training for my first triathlon, I did a lot of swimming in the Pacific to get good open water swimming experience. I always had an intense fear of being attacked by a shark, especially since the area I usually swam at was known to have plenty of sharks. None of the specific known sharks in the area were dangerous, but it didn't help the fear I already had. Southern California is not know for having problems with sharks. However, all hell broke loose today at a morning triathlon swim. A man was attacked and killed about 150 yards off the coast. It's still early and there is a lot unknown causing speculation to run wild. This is an area that we often start/finish our long weekend runs at. People some times hit the water after the run to cool off. Of course, no shark would be that shallow. I have never swum here before, but it is a very popular place for surfers and the local tri club. This pretty much confirms that I will not be doing another triathlon in my life. That is, I will not be doing any more ocean swimming.

As the day progressed, it has been estimated by subject matter experts that it was likely a great white that was between 12 and 17 feet long. The bite mark radius on the guy's legs were 22". Wow! Very sad indeed. Check out the Union Tribune article. My heart and prayers go out to his family and friends as they deal with this impossible situation.

I woke up this morning with my ribs hurting. Throughout the day, they have been more sore than they were yesterday. My plan today for the run was to pick it up again and possibly doing a good tempo run. As it was over 80 today (10 degrees warmer than yesterday), my ribs were hurting and I have 20+ mile run scheduled for Sunday, I decided to take it easy. The run was nothing spectacular as I did the same route as yesterday. Even though I didn't feel that great, it was good to get out there again.

As I recently remembered that my weekend run will be on Sunday this week and likely back to normal the following week, I have another opportunity to shoot for a triple digit 7 day run period. Even though I should be focusing on speed at this point in my schedule, I may try go for big distance again, just to see if I can do it. Of course, this depends on how the ribs are recovering. It's just a thought. The following week I will be in San Francisco and I'm not sure how much running I'll be getting in. Again, good thing my next race is not my "A" race this year. If you want to learn how to train for a marathon, make sure you don't follow what I have been doing the past few weeks nor what I plan on doing the next few weeks as you approach the taper period.


Food Journal


Food
  • Cinnamon Oatmeal Squares
  • 2 chicken fajitas on 8" corn tortillas
  • PowerBar
  • Original Jamba Juice - 3G Energizer with Protein
  • 1/2 Medium Bag of Popcorn
  • Pita Chips with Hummus
Drink
  • 30 oz Coffee
  • 100 oz Water
  • ~20 oz Coke
  • 32 oz G2 Gatorade

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Back on Track?

I'm hoping that today is the first day to get back on track. I'm done destroying my body and ready to get back at it. I'm going to need a couple days to detox after all the crap that has been put into my body. So far today has been a good start.

I was able to get out for a run again today. The goal was to head out to see if I was able to make it. I had to go without my heart rate strap as the strap goes right across the area of my ribs that are still sore. I started out just seeing how things felt. I felt a little minor pain, but nothing that was going to make me stop. I decided to change the run into a fartlek workout and pick it up here and there to see how I felt. It turns out, it was a really good run today. I ended up doing about 5.5 miles in just under 40 minutes. I opened it up for the last two-thirds-ish of a mile to the fastest speed of the day probably averaging something like 6:15 or so. Oh man, did it feel good to get this in. It also felt good knowing that I'll be able to get back into it and to know that it shouldn't make me miss the 20+ mile run this weekend.


Speaking of the weekend long run, we will be meeting at the finish line of the La Jolla Half Marathon and running the course backwards until mile 2ish and then turning around and running the race. This should make this incredibly hilling run pretty enjoyable. Of course, the absolute beauty of the course will also help.

I'll keep this one nice and short.

Food Journal


Food
  • Original Jamba Juice - 3G Energizer
  • PowerBar
  • pretzels and peanut butter
  • small piece ice cream birthday cake
  • 2 chicken fajitas on 8" corn tortillas
Drink
  • 134 oz Water
  • 20 oz Coffee
  • 12 oz Diet Dr. Pepper
  • 12 oz Skim Milk
Comments
Got back on track today. I ate less than required to make up for the craziness of the last week. Even with getting 4-5 hours of sleep last night, I reduced the amount of caffeine taken is as well. I'm happy with the results of today.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Injury Day #3

I woke up again with a pain in the morning, but it quickly faded throughout the day to the point that I nearly forgot about it. I could definitely feel it at certain points, but it's to the point now where I'm ready to head out again and see how running feels.

I'm going to do a little food experiment today. We had a pot luck today and people brought in all kinds of unhealthy food. Since I'm not exercising again, why not feed my body with junk. OK, I know that's not a good strategy, but this is what I did. So the experiment is going to be this. I'm eating a big chocolate chip muffin and washing it down with a Mountain Dew. Basically I'm chasing down fat and sugar with more sugar. I want to see what happens to my mindset and attention span in the next hour or two. Here goes nothing.
  • as I've been getting slightly more sleep this week and I've consumed tons of caffeine so far today, I'm feeling pretty awake and mentally alert
  • starting eating and drinking at 1:25 pm
  • finished food and drink approximately 1:35 pm
  • 1:50 pm - starting to feel a "wave" of tiredness coming in
  • 2:05, having a bit of trouble full concentrating on what I'm doing and I'm a bit tired yet. No longer feel "big wave of tired approaching"
  • 2:20, same as last time. Unable to focus on problem I'm trying to solve and I'm still tired.
  • 2:45, still distracted, but feel close to what I was before the experiment started, just a bit more tired
  • 3:20 feel like I'm back to what I was before now.
In the two hours of the experiment, I had some water and got up to go to the bathroom once or twice. Towards the end, I started listening to higher energy music. So, energy level may have come back to normal by way of my body processing all the sugar and blood insulin levels getting back to normal and/or music/walking/water helped stabilize energy levels

The debacle that is my "training" regimen and diet continues. As I continue to not be able to train, my diet continues to get worse. I'm getting more and more frustrated which is causing me to self destruct. Not that anyone is reading this, but sadly enough, this is happening in a public manner. Normally, this kind of a thing is kept to myself and I destruct for a few days, snap out of it and I'm back to normal. As this is a bit out of control because it was induced by something (I'm not sure what) and continued by injury and by the fact that I'm putting all this down in print, it feels that much more out of control. I have 20+ mile run this weekend and I have not run in over 4 days. In additional, I've imploded by binging on food and alcohol over the last week. How do I stop this downward spiral.

In the effort to end this on a positive note, as I feel like utter poo right now, I found a new, fun song today by Carbon Leaf. It's a great, Irish sounding song that seems to get me pumped up. I found it on Irish and Celtic Music Podcast and bought in on iTunes. Here's a link to the Amazon download.

Food Journal


Food
  • a few hand fulls of Cinnamon Nature Valley Crunchy
  • Plain Bagel with Cream Cheese
  • Bean Dip and Fritos
  • Chocolate Chip Muffin
  • ----------------------------
  • a bunch of pizza
Drink
  • 84 oz Water
  • ~50 oz Coffee
  • 12 oz Diet Dr. Pepper
  • 12 of Mountain Dew
  • -----------------------------
  • a bunch of beer and wine

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Injury Day #2

I expected to wake up feeling a bit better today and assumed I would feel less and less pain in my ribs throughout the day. I woke up with more pain than I had yesterday. I already feel frustration starting to creep in.

-----------
I'm writing the rest of this blog many hours later and feeling a bit better about the ribs. They are still a bit sore, but my experience at softball today has me feeling a bit more confident about them continuing to cause days off. I have a busy schedule tomorrow, so I may just take one more day off to ensure things keep getting better and then get back to it on Thursday. I think the main thing is that I keep a positive outlook on the situation. The worst thing that will come out of this is that I can't reach the 3:07 goal for Rock n Roll. (I'm not so sure that is possible even without the injury.) This is not my "A" race this year, so it's not a huge problem if I do not get that finishing time.

Tonight was the 2nd softball game of the season. Our coach could not make it and she asked me to take care of the team tonight. The afternoon started out as a bit of a mess. I needed to get a ride to the field as I do not have access to get on the military base where the game was to be held. The game is supposed to start at 5:20, but my ride was late and we didn't get to the field until 5:25. There is a 15 minute windows before a team needs to forfeit. So we get there and I'm running around getting my cleats on, making out the lineup (there are about 6-7 new players on the team that I do not know and do not know where they play) and meeting with the other coach to discuss game stuff. Their team was home and out on the field and ready to go. I do a quick discussion with the team and we're off. We have 16 people in the line-up. Ridiculous! I didn't get a chance to warm up and was up 3rd. I hit a ball down 3rd base that I knew I would beat out at first. I ran just hard enough to get there in time without getting out. There was some pain, but nothing that would keep me from playing. When I got out to SS, I took a few warm up throws, taking it easy as my arm was cold. Reaching down for the ground ball and making the throw was OK. Again, a little pain, but nothing major.


Our team was still not great, but we looked better than last week. Our hitting definitely improved from the first week. Long story short, it was mostly back and forth. We were up by as much as 6 and down by as much as three. Going to the top of the 9th, we were down 2. We scored 4 and held them to 0 runs in the bottom of the 9th to pull out the win, 27-25. Woohoo! We are now 1-1. I made some pretty stellar plays in the field, but only played 1/2 the game in the field as I swapped with one of the new guys. (Unfortunately they hit tons to the SS position and he struggled a bit.) I had interesting hitting stats. The first AB was an infield single. We are only allowed to score 5 runs an inning. In the 2nd inning, we had already scored 4 and a guy was on 1st. I smoked one to the outfield and stopped at first while he came around to score. If I would have tried, it would have been at least a double. The third AB, was arguably a 3 run HR. Anyone that knew what they were doing would have caught the ball, but he misplayed it and gave me and HR. The 4th AB, we had 2 runners on and 3 in already. I smoked another one over the center fielder. Since they are slow and I am fast, I was able to get around to 3rd for a triple. It would have been another HR, but it was five. So, you could argue, that I would have hit for the cycle if I would have ran out the 2nd AB. Of course, if they didn't have the 5 run rule, I would have had a single and 3 HRs, but who's counting. :) Line stats were AB=4, R=2, H=4, 3B=1, HR=1, RBI=6


Season Stats
AB - 7
R - 4
H - 6
2B - 1
3B - 1
HR - 2
RBI - 11

Cubs win again! Woohoo! The first time they have won 14 of the first 20 since 1975. Second best record in the majors. 0-3 Lilly pitched out a trouble a couple times today to get his first win of the season. Their hitting is amazing and their pitching is getting back to where it should be. It could be scary for the rest of the league this year. Oddly enough, 2 other teams have 2 digit wins this year in the central. Very odd as the central tends to have weaker records.

Congrats to Mike, Art and Dan for finishing the Boston Marathon on Monday. I haven't had a chance to talk to any of them yet, but I tracked them during the race. I don't think everyone got the times they were looking for, but just completing is great. Great job guys!



Food Journal


Food
  • 1 bowl Cinnamon Oatmeal Squares with ~10 oz Skim Milk
  • 1/2 bowl Cinnamon Crunchy Nature Valley
  • Chicken Caesar Salad
  • 2 Pop-tarts
  • Pita Chips and Hummus
  • Chips and Salsa
Drink
  • 80 oz Water
  • ~30 oz Coffee
  • 24 oz Diet Dr. Pepper
  • 12 oz Diet Coke
  • 12 of Tea
Comments
I'm trying to decide if I'm going to keep the food journal. It's a bit of a pain, but it could be a good reference to go back and look at when I want to check trends on my training/eating. Earlier today, I was pretty set on stopping. Now, I'm not positive if I'll stop or not.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Injury Day

I headed out this afternoon for a speed session. I was a bit unsure of how it was going to go with the sore ribs from yesterday. They were still bothering me when I took a deep breath. I went about 1/10 of a mile and felt constant pain in the area. It wasn't major, but I was planning on doing 5x1600 repeats and I thought I would be better off resting myself rather than pushing it and not giving myself a chance to heal. So today was an unscheduled day off and tomorrow may turn into another rest day. I'm hoping that a couple days off will make all the difference allowing me to get back into it on Wednesday back to normal.

Food Journal

Comments
Apparently, I had one more bad day of eating and drinking left to go before getting back to normal. I did not track today again. I'll be back to normal tomorrow.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

The weekend has come to an end. I feel like I may be on my way to normal again after a couple relaxing days. I had a great 16 mile trail run on Saturday. I had no desire to get out there and run late Friday night and first thing Saturday morning. Since I was running with 1 other guy, I couldn't really leave him hanging. So I headed out and I'm glad I did. It was a great, easy run on trails around Lake Hodges. I wanted to do some good hills during the run, but since this is one of the areas hit by the fire last fall, most of the trails were closed and we had to stick to the main stretch.


The rest of yesterday was spent doing some shopping, watching some Little League baseball eating and drinking stuff that is not good for me and watching the movie Juno. My wife had been trying to get me to watch that movie for a long. Pretty cool movie. I definitely recommend it.

I got lots of sleep last night and hit the gym for a pretty good workout considering I've missed my workouts quite a bit the last couple weeks. I spent most of the day with family today outside at a picnic. Of course, this was more bad eating, but being active with the niece and nephews helped burn some of that off. It was another great relaxing day.

I think these last 2 days helped to get me out of my funk. I have a goal this week of averaging at least 7 hours a night of sleep. I think my attitude should be much better by the end of the week.

Since I spent the last few days eating like I was not training for a marathon, I should be able to get back to normal without too much trouble and will start keeping track of my food journal too. I expect all of this to contribute to a much better running week than last. Although, I had quite a spill today during the potato sack race where I think I bruised a rib or two. It will be interesting to see if I can run at all.

Speaking of last week's running, I felt like I slacked a lot. Since I did over 90 miles the week before, it was definitely a down week. I ended up taking 3 days off completely. With that, I still ended with 50+ miles for the week. It looks like I'll be hitting the 200 mile mark again for the 2nd month in a row. I'm definitely well on my way to my first 2,000 mile year. It's still early and I've been on this pace before early in the year as I was training for Boston back in 2004, but this year is way different. I expect to stick with it this time. As I approach 9,000 total miles run since 2001, if things stay the same this year, I should also hit the 10,000 mile mark. I know this is way less than a lot of people, but I'm guessing it's way more miles than way more people.

The Cubs have worked their way up to the 2nd best record in baseball. I know it's extremely early in the season, but I'm already getting super psyched that maybe, just maybe, this will be the year. Go Cubbies!!!!

Tomorrow morning is the Boston marathon. Good luck guys!

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Real Down Day

Even thought I got some sleep last night, I woke up exhausted and beat up. I felt like I got run over by a car. Since I have been trying to ensure I don't over train, I decided I needed another day off, especially since my mind is starting to falter. It's better to rest than push it since it's only April and since I have a busy year in front of me.

It seems my frustrations continue and are out of control again today. I wasn't going to put anything in blog today to hide what I ate and my emotional state. But I guess if I'm going to use this to help me grow and improve, neglecting to put the bad stuff down will not help me. There are other things going on other than me being tired that are causing me to be depressed, but I'm not ready to put those down in a public forum at this point.

That's it for today.


Food Journal

Food
  • 2 bowls Strawberry Medley Cereal with 12 oz Skim Milk
  • 1 Soft Beef Taco
  • 1 Cheese Enchilada
  • Rice & Beans
  • 6 oz French Vanilla Yogurt
  • Rubio's Health Mex Burrito and Chips
  • 3 Icees
Drink
  • 60 oz Water
  • ~30 oz Coffee
  • 24 oz Diet Dr. Pepper
  • 12 oz Mountain Dew
  • ~15 oz Vanilla Coke (was supposed to be diet)
  • 24 oz Amber Bock
  • 12 oz Sam Adams Light
  • 1 glass Wine
Comments

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Why Am I an Idiot?

Why do I procrastinate? Why do I do things that I know I shouldn't do just because I know it's something I'm not supposed to do? There are countless examples, but let's take a look at yesterday since it's fresh in my mind. I know that I shouldn't have a big dose of caffeine in the afternoons as it keeps me awake at night. For some reason at 3 or 4 yesterday I have a cup of coffee. I know it will keep me awake. I know it will be the cause of making me even more tired than I already am, but I get it and drink it anyway. So of course, I couldn't get to sleep last night. I need a good 7.5 - 8 hours of sleep at night to feel normal. BTW, I couldn't tell you the last time I average that much sleep for a week. I've been averaging 5-6 this week and have been getting progressively more tired. Put last nights 5 hour night in there and I came very, very close to blowing off the run for the day. If I didn't drink that coffee yesterday afternoon I likely would have gotten a good 7-8 hours last night. Another example ties very closely to this. I know I need the sleep. I know that I'm tired. I know that with all the running I'm doing, my body needs rest to recover and grow stronger. I know this and yet night after night I stay awake too late. Most of the time I'm not doing anything productive. I'm just wasting time.

So the question of "Why Am I an Idiot" stands. I'm sure I'm not alone in the self destructive behavior and I know that are far worse consequences for other people. Since I can be so disciplined at getting in my running and workouts, I don't understand why I cannot be more disciplined in other things. This is especially true of the sleep problem as it likely prevents me form improving in my running as much as I could be and affects my productively throughout the day. Any ideas?

So my piss-poor attitude continued throughout the day as I continued to sabotage my entire day. My run home was crap. I had no desire or energy to do it whatsoever, but since I had no way of getting home, I had to do it. I took a shorter way home and did not do any speed. It took all my energy to keep myself running in order to get home. Then I got home and pigged out and drank.

I think this day would have been way better had I decided to stay in bed this morning and not get up until Friday. What a waste!


Food Journal


Food
  • 1/4 serving N-Large with 4 oz Skim Milk
  • 2 bowls Cinnamon Oatmeal Crunch Cereal with ~10 oz Skim Milk
  • 2 slices Pepperoni Pizza, Thin Crust
  • Milky Way
  • Almonds
  • Doritos and Salsa
  • Chicken Breast, White Potatoes, Green Beans
  • Pita Chips and Hummus
Drink
  • 128 oz Water
  • 42 oz Coffee
  • 24 oz Diet Dr. Pepper
  • 24 oz Down Town Brown
  • 1 large glass Wine
Comments

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Biggest Loser Finale and Good Luck Boston Marathon Runners

My run today was uneventful. The battery was dead in my GPS so I had to go to my Polar so I could still track my heart rate. I used http://www.MapMyRun.com to find my distance. On this site I was also to get an elevation number. I'm not sure how accurate it is, but according to the site I did a bit over 600 feet climbing and descending. It definitely felt like more than that, but at this point I'll have to wait until I do this run again with my Garmin 305. So I ended with about 9.25 miles at a relatively easy effort. Tomorrow I do 25+ with a good tempo likely in the 2nd half. The motivation of needing to get my speed up so I can do a 3:07 will push me. What's a 3:07 look like? It looks like it's a steady 7:08 /mile pace for 26.2 miles. On some courses I'd say I'm up for it. At Rock and Roll San Diego, I'm not so sure. Especially considering it will likely be a slight bit humid. If I can average 6:50 again tomorrow during my tempo run of 6-8 miles, I think I will feel a lot more comfortable with that goal finishing time (and a PR). Tomorrow is supposed to be mid 80s again. So I don't think the run will be at all easy.

I saw the finale for The Biggest Loser tonight. Ali took it down as I thought she might. It's amazing that she was able to put up such big numbers week after week. Especially as she kept getting smaller and smaller. I can't imagine anyone looking at her could ever imagine she used to be overweight. The idea of someone losing 50% of their body weight is mind boggling. Yet this show motivates people to do that season after season. Most do not lose numbers that big, but even those that weren't on the show very long still were able to lose 50 pounds and more. It's so motivating seeing these normal, everyday people get so inspired and motivated to improve their lives.

Their wasn't time to watch the American Idol results today. That will have to wait until tomorrow. As this season is not that exciting, waiting is not that painful. I must say though, DVR is the one of the best things ever invented in life. :)

Three of my training partners are running the Boston Marathon on Monday April 21. Two are going in under trained and one is going in fighting an injury. They all are approaching the race with the goal of finishing. That is a great idea for this race. Boston is set on a pedestal by many marathoners. Unless you are naturally gifted, you need to work hard to get your marathon time down to a preset standard. For many, the act of qualifying should be accomplishment enough. Of course, this is one of those do as I say, rather then do as I do. When I ran Boston back in 2004, I over trained to such a ridiculous level, that it took me over a year to get back into running in any consistent manner. It's pretty amazing looking back at my training logs that I was unable to see this. At least I was able to learn from my mistakes. I just hope I can help others to use their experience as something to enjoy rather than something that needs to be a stressful, depressing waste of time as it was for me. So, good luck to the three of you and I'm hoping for perfect weather this year.


Food Journal


Food
  • 2 bowls Strawberry Medley Cereal with ~10 oz Skim Milk
  • 6 oz Orange Cream Yogurt
  • PowerBar
  • Campbell's Chunky Chili
  • 1/2 sleeve Crackers
  • Sherbet with Light Whipped Cream
  • Turkey Cheese Burger on 2 pieces of wheat toast
  • Brown Rice
  • Corn & Peas
Drink
  • 137 oz Water
  • ~40 oz Coffee
  • 12 oz Tea
  • 12 oz Diet Dr. Pepper
  • 12 oz Diet Coke
  • 12 oz Beer (Down Town Brown)
  • 12 oz Skim Milk
  • 2 glasses red wine
Comments
Ate a bit more today as I haven't been eating enough the past few days. I have felt it and the scale has backed me up on this. Since I have a 25+ mile run tomorrow, I need to make sure I have enough fuel for the run. Three of my training partners are running the Boston Marathon on Monday April 21. Two are going in undertrained and one is going in fighting an injury. They all are approaching the race with the goal of finishing. That is a great idea for this race. Boston is set on a pedestal by many marathoners. Unless you are naturally gifted, you need to work hard to get your marathon time down to a preset standard. For many, the act of qualifying should be accomplishment enough. Of course, this is one of those do as I say, rather then do as I do. Looking back at the last week or so at my food journal, it's amazing how much I drink every day. I wonder if this is normal. I'm sure it's not a bad thing. It's not like I'm approaching water intoxication levels, but it is interesting.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Softball Season Started Today

Today was the start of my 7th or 8th season in this beer league. I've always been a very competitive person always wanting to win and do the best that I can do. I expect the same from players on my team. Over the years of playing with this team, I have had to learn to keep my temper and not expect things from this team. With that said, this team has always been one of the best in the league and we've won the title before. I noticed last fall when I played in my first competitive league in 6 years that I had lost some of the fire that I used to have. By the end of the season, I could tell it was starting to come back. This was with playing on season in a competitive league with a team that spent the entire season fighting for the cellar. Given this history of this beer team, I expected us to be good. It started out with a 4 or 5 people that I have never seen before introducing themselves to the coach and other players. I started warming up with one of the guys that I have played with over the years and one of the new guys comes in to throw. I tend to throw a bit hard, but since this was my first time out in something like 6 months and I had just started, I was taking it easy. He could not get his glove in front of the ball and he kept turning his glove the wrong way. Uh oh. Sadly enough, he was somewhere in the middle of the talent pool of the 6-7 new players we got this year. One guy was pretty good and got on base 2 out of 3 times in the lead off spot and knew how to catch a ball. That's more than I can say for the rest of them. It was very, very ugly. This is going to be an extremely long season. Earlier today I passed on joining another league that plays less than 10 minutes from my house. I'm rethinking that decision now. To make matters worse, we had 14 players show up so I only got up three times. I usually play third, but since we lost all the guys that play shortstop, I moved over. The new guy that they put at third did a pretty good job of stopping a lot of things hit his way. Anyway, enough of all that nonsense. I'm going to be surprised if we find a way to win 2 games this year. My performance in the field tonights was ok. I made some good plays, but made two silly plays. I bobbled one and didn't get the throw to first in time and the worst one came when a woman came to bat. She hit hard and consistently hit it between third and short. So I was on the move before the pitch and was in perfect position for the ball hit right to me and then, bloop, right through the five hole. Damn it! That's no good for me. At bat, I flew out in my first attempt, hit a 3 run homerun over the right fields head and then a 2 run double in the third at bad. 2-3, 2 runs scored, 5 RBIs.

I watched American Idol this tonight and had very low expectations as I'm not a huge Mariah Carey fan. I thought both Davids did very well tonight. David Cook is very talented and will go on to much success (like Daughtry) whether he wins or not. I'm a bit worried for Brooke as she did not do that well tonight. I put the performances in this order for the night:
  1. David Cooke - Great bounce back after last week. Guaranteed star after Idol
  2. David Archuleta - I just love his voice, but not sure how he will do on pop stations
  3. Brooke White - I liked it, but think America may not
  4. Kristy Lee Cook - I think she should be one of the next off the show, but being backed by VoteForTheWorst, I think she'll be around for a few more weeks. She will be successful on country stations.
  5. Carly Smithson - talented, but seems to over sing or something every week
  6. Jason Castro - not the most talented, but unique
  7. Syesha Mercado - sang pretty good, but boring; would enjoy her on the radio
There was no running again today. This is my 2nd day of in the last three. I was still struggling from last week, that should be resolved now. I plan to run 6-8 tomorrow on a hilly course. As I plan a commute run again on Thursday with a 6-7 mile tempo, I probably won't push it too hard tomorrow. I'm itching to get back out there which I fine to be a very good sign. I think this indicate that I am not pushing myself towards over over training at this point, even with a 95 mile week.

Yes! Cubs win again. As we usually start out slow, this is a great sign. We are supposed to be good and even though we are struggling a bit, staring out 8-5 in tremendous. Maybe this is the year we finally put an end to this stupid streak and stupid curse.

I guess I've rambled on enough at this point.


Diet


Food
  • 2 bowls Cinnamon Oatmeal Squares with ~10 oz Skim Milk
  • 2 slices thin crust Pepperoni Pizza
  • Orange Cream Yoplait Yogurt
  • Large Protein Berry Workout from Jamba Juice (with Whey) and Protein
  • Pita Chips and Hummus
Drink
  • 131 oz Water
  • 42 oz Coffee
  • 12 oz Diet Dr. Pepper
  • 12 of Diet Coke
Comments
I decided to stop giving myself a grade here as it's very subjective. Yesterday I ate a couple bad things and had tons of caffeine, but gave myself a good grade for eating better than normal. I'll just use this section for general comments on the diet for the day. I probably did not eat enough again today, but as I didn't work out, it may be OK. I had to quickly get some lunch and stuff it down as I only had a few minutes for lunch today. I think the high calories and fat in the pizza keep me satiated throughout the day.

P.S. Sorry for the add that is currently showing in the post footer. I'm trying to add functionality to each post and it put the ad in there. I'll work on removing it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Speed Work

Today's plan was 5x1600 which I was planning on doing by myself after work. It was still a bit warmer today and I just wasn't fully into the workout. Unfortunately, I crapped out after the 3rd interval. I just did a cool down and called it quits. After looking at my average HR during the 3rd interval, it wasn't nearly as high as it felt. I guess I'll just chalk this one up to a bad workout. Maybe it's due to the big effort last week or maybe it was due to the lack of sleep last night. Either way, I'll forget about it and move on.

Tomorrow is a very day and I have to leave on time for softball. Tomorrow may turn into an unscheduled rest day. I hope it doesn't happen, but I'm not going to hold my breath that I'll get my workout in.

This is a short one today as there is nothing else worth mentioning.

Food

  • Strawberry Medley cereal with ~10 oz Skim Milk
  • French Vanilla Yoplait Yogurt - 6 oz
  • Chicken Caesar Salad
  • Chewy Gobstoppers
  • 2 Cookies and Cream Pop-Tarts
  • 1 PowerBar
  • BBQ Chicken Breast
  • 2 Small Boiled White Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • 1 York Peppermint Patty (small)
  • 1 Fortune Cookie
Drink
  • 160 oz Water
  • ~30 oz Coffee
  • 24 oz Tea
  • 12 oz Diet Dr. Pepper
  • 12 oz Skim Milk
Grade: A-
I'm pretty happy with the food and drink today. Of course, far too much caffeine, but until I start forcing myself to get some sleep, I'm not going to worry about it. I kept the quantities of food down today and only ate when I was hungry. The Pop-Tarts were not healthy, but I was hungry before the workout and my only other option was a PowerBar, which I would have eaten again right after. If I actually ate some fruit and cut out the 2 treats, this would have been near a near perfect day. Well, for me it would be, given my normal low standards. I did need the calories though. Even though the Pop-Tarts were nearly empty calories, they were high glycemic calories which got me energized for me workout. (May have also contributed to me "crashing" after only 3 intervals.)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Recovery Day

Today was another down today. I got some much needed sleep as I ended up getting 11 hours of sleep. I have been so far being the past few weeks and then last week's craziness put me even further behind. I spent the day relaxing and catching up on some TV. I watched Tiger continue his streak of not winning every tournament he enters. I watched Idol Gives Back (and was bummed I missed the chance to donate to the cause) and the results show. I'm definitely not happy that Michael Johns went home. I loved his voice and wanted him to stay on for a few more weeks. I also did a few odds and ends around the house and did some shopping.

Fortunately today is supposed to be the last day of this ridiculously hot spell we've been in. It's been mid 90s for the last few days. It's a good thing too as I'm doing my speed work session tomorrow instead of Tuesday. My softball season starts and it's on Tuesday this week. So tomorrow's workout will be 5x1600 with something like 2-3 minute recoveries. Doing this workout in 9o+ degree temperatures would be quite unpleasant. I haven't done mile repeats in awhile so I'm not sure what to expect. I did have a running buddy mention to me last week that he wants to run together and qualify for Boston at the Rock N Roll Marathon. As I have not been doing much speed work yet, this may be quite difficult for me. For him, he is just getting back into shape as he and his wife just had their first child. Even with that, he can probably run the race backwards and still qualify. For me, well, let's just say that the speed work for the next 4 weeks will be that much more important. The time he wants to get will be a PR for me. The RnR Marathon isn't the hardest one out there, but it's far from the easiest.

Even though my diet for the day doesn't completely agree with the following statement, I do believe it to be true. One thing that may help people with their diets is to write down everything they eat. I have found that since I've been writing down what I eat every day, I'm finding that I'm not snacking as much or eating really bad food in large quantities as much. I know if I eat it, I have to write it down. Since I don't want to write it down, I don't eat it or I eat something healthier instead.

Food

  • Chex Mix
  • Souplantation
    • salad
    • 4 blueberry muffins
    • 4 pizza things
    • frozen yogurt, brownie, chocolate sauce
  • Almonds
  • Sweet & Sour Chicken (not fried) Pick Up Stix
  • Brown Rice
  • 2 Peppermint Patties (small)
  • 1 piece candy
  • 3 icees
Drink
  • 60 oz Water
  • 12 oz Tea
  • ~30 oz Diet Coke
  • 12 oz Diet Dr. Pepper
  • 12 oz Skim Milk
  • 12 oz Samuel Adams Light
  • 12 oz Downtown Brown
Grade: C-
Lots of food today. Lots of calories. The good thing about all this is that my portion sizes were smaller then normal. I ate less at Souplantation than normal and I was actually hungry for dinner. This is the first time I tried the non-fried sweet and sour meal at Pick Up Stix. Definitely way healthier, but it was only OK. I didn't eat very much of it. So then I had a few desserts. No worries.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The End of an Epic Week

Well, I finished my 4th 18+ mile day and 3rd 20+ mile day of the week. I got out to an early start at 6 am since they were calling for 90s today. I started with one running buddy and we did 5. We met the rest of the group at 7 and all took off together for 12. The group had a good showing today as we all wanted one last visit to wish luck to the three from our group that are doing the Boston Marathon next Monday. Three of us then tacked on another 5K that we ended up doing at an up tempo. All in all it was a good run. It was very flat and not very challenging, but as a lot of it was on concrete, it wore out my feet and knees. I got home and took a 20 minute ice bath to reduce swelling and limit the soreness that this week has provided.


Let's recap what was involved in the last 7 days. I did
  1. Sunday - 18+
  2. Monday - 23
  3. Tuesday - 8+ (speed, intervals)
  4. Wednesday - rest
  5. Thursday - 25 (speed, tempo)
  6. Friday - gym
  7. Saturday - 20
For the week, this gives me 94.76 miles. Sadly enough, I briefly considered tacking on 5 more today so I could hit an even 100 miles, but decided it was pretty ridiculous. The only thing it was really going to gain me was bragging rights and that's about it. I think most of the people I run with already think I'm crazy. So it's unlikely to change much. The flip side is that this is likely the only time in my life that I'll do anything like this so it was my chance. Obviously, if I'm motivated enough to reach some milestone like this again, I'll do it.

I finally started catching up on records shows today. I watch the Tuesday American Idol show and The Biggest Loser. I still have to shows of American Idol to watch yet this week so I'm not going to say anything about that. I continue to be absolutely amazed, inspired, motivated and extremely happy for the contestants on The Biggest Loser. This was the episode where the final few contestants get to review just how far they have come. Sure the money would be nice for them, but I'm sure every single one of the contestants that were able to change their life around would gladly pass up the money for the opportunity they have been given. I think anyone that wants to start exercising, but is unable to motivate themselves to start should watch this use. Amazing!

Food
  • 1/2 serving N-Large with 8 oz Skim Milk
  • 4 scoops of Carbo Pro
  • 2 Nuun tablets
  • 1 PowerBar
  • Pita Chips and Hummus
  • 2 slices of Coney Island Meat Pizza
  • Pita Chips and Hummus
  • 1 Beef Taco (soft)
  • ~1/2 Cheese Enchilada
  • Rice, Beans and Chips
  • 4 - Icee (25 calories each)
  • 1 Peppermint Pattie (small)
  • 12 oz Beer (Amber Bock)
Drink
  • 124 oz Water
  • 32 oz G2 Gatorade
  • 32 oz Diet Coke
  • 20 oz Coffee
  • 12 oz Diet Dr. Pepper
  • ~10 oz Pepsi
Grade: C
As far as total calories go today, I was probably somewhere around the right ball park. The quality left a bit to be desired. The 2 slices of pizza were not the best, but it was only 2 slices. That could have been much worse. Dinner could have been much worse as well. I made sure the taco wasn't fried. That helped. I didn't eat nearly all the rice and beans and there was still a good amount of cheese enchilada left. The plate was still very heavy when it went into the trash. However, there was quite a bit of fat in that meal.

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Down Day

Usually after those 20+ mile weekday runs, I'm dead tired at night and get to sleep at a reasonable time. Yesterday was no exception. I was in bed by 9:45 (very good for me). I guess all the miles I'm putting in this week may be having a negative impact on me. It took me a little longer then normal to fall asleep and I woke up about 45 minutes later. The next hour was very interrupted and then I was wide awake. I was then awake for a good 2 hours. I was unmotivated and tired so I wasn't to make good use of this time either. What a waste. Now I'm exhausted. Normally interrupted sleeping patterns are a sign of overtraining, but I don't believe that is the case. My morning HR is still in the correct range and I think my 1-2 rest or active recovery days per week is keeping me from overtraining. Definitely something to keep an eye on, but at this point, I'll chalk it up to a bad night.

There was definitely no running today. I wanted to take the day off completely, but I hadn't been to the gym in over a week. So, I lifted today.
The workout was pretty weak as I was tired and unmotivated, but at least I got there and got some lifting in. I skipped legs today as they were a bit sore. I really could have used an ice bath yesterday, but didn't really think about it until today. Instead I took a hot shower. This is probably why I'm still a bit sore today. I think an ice bath will be in my future tomorrow.

Food:

  • 1 1/2 bowls of All Bran Strawberry Medley with 12 oz Skim Milk
  • PowerBar
  • 1/2 serving of N-Large (chocolate) with 12 of of Skim Milk
  • Original Protein Berry Workout with Immunity from Jamba Juice
  • Munchies Cheese Fix Snack Mix (250 calories)
  • Pita Chips and Hummus
  • Health Mex Chicken Burrito (Rubio's)
  • Reduced Fat Tortilla Chips
  • 2 York Peppermint Patties (small)
Drink:
  • 100 oz Water
  • 30 oz Coffee
  • 12 oz Black Tea
  • 12 oz Diet Soda
  • 16 oz Milk
  • 24 oz Beer (Amber Bock)
Grade: C+
Well, the quality and quantity wasn't horrible today (until tonight), but there wasn't much substance. A weight gainer shake and Jamba Juice are mostly healthy, provide quick (and needed) energy and protein and they are without a lot of fat. Drinking my lunch is not all that fulfilling. Since I was busy and didn't get a chance to eat today, this worked out pretty well. Unfortunately, after work, I took in a few too many calories. I justified it in two ways. First, I have 20 miler tomorrow morning. Secondly, I woke up this morning at a weight lower then I've been probably since high school. I don't really have too much weigh to lose. So, I'm not so sure that's a good thing.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Third 20 Mile Day of the Week and My Diet

The run to work was OK. I only slept 6 hours last night and had a really hard time getting out of bed this morning. I almost convinced myself to go back to sleep and skip the run. I guess it's a good thing I didn't. I hit way too many red stoplights on the way in and stopped too much. I'm not going to take that way in anymore. I can go another way that is about 1 mile longer and probably takes nearly the same amount of time.


The run home was much better then the run into work. I did 15+ with a 5.75 mile tempo in the middle. I felt good and strong the entire time. After climbing a little over 200 ft in 1/2 mile, I recovered for 1/2 mile and then started my tempo pace at the 4.5 mile mark. This stretch was the flattest I was going to get with some slight rolling hills. I did a tempo run for 38:37 going 5.75 miles. I was going to do the full 6, but that last 1/4 was all up hill (the beginning of the last 5 mile up hill stretch). Since it was my first tempo, I figured that was enough. My splits were 6:54.3, 6:49.1, 6:50.5, 6:42.7, 6:29.6 and 4:51 (6:23 pace) and my average HR was 173 bpm. According to the results of my VO2 testing (blog yet to come), 173 bpm is my lactate threshhold. The fact that I hit that number was purely coincidental. Since it was my first tempo run in some time, I was just going the pace that felt right. I still need to do a bit of research to see if this run should have been at LT (lactate threshold) or if it should have been harder. Considering I did over 20 this week and have a 20 miler in 2 days, I think this is just fine.


So my totals for the day were 3:16:36 and 25.07 miles which included a 5.75 mile tempo run. I'm happy with the results of this run. One of the most exciting part of the run home happened during the first mile of my tempo running. I was running in the bicycle lane and a snake comes slithering in front of me. This is the first time I've seen a living snake during a run. I also thought I would freak out and my HR would spike through the roof. As you can probably gather, I really am not a fan of snakes. I don't know what kind it was and it was tiny. It was no more than 1 foot long, but that was still too big for my sake. I just kept on moving and stepped out into traffic to avoid it. It must have felt the vibrations because at the closest point he did something that made me think me may turn and go for me, but he just kept moving. Phew!

I've been noticing that my diet has steadily been getting worse. I need to start fueling my body with better food. I'm going to start tracking my daily food consumption as a way of holding myself accountable. I'm not going to get down to calorie counting at this point, but knowing I have to write something down may prevent me from eating or drinking something I shouldn't. I wonder A) if I'll stick with this and B) how this will evolve. Well, I guess time will tell. The food pretty much is listed in the order it was eaten. For now, the drinks will be listed in total since I drink so much during a day. I prefer to see the totals.

Food
  • 1 PowerBar
  • 2 bowls of Cinnamon Oatmeal Squares w/ 12 oz skim milk
  • Chicken Caesar salad from Chicks Natural (too big; should not have finished)
  • 200 calories in Strawberry Clif Shot Blocks
  • hand full of almonds (approx 1 serving)
  • 1 can of Campbell's Beef with Country Vegetable soup
  • 1/2 sleeve of crackers
Drink
  • 157 oz - Water
  • 30 oz - Coffee
  • 12 oz - Diet Soda
  • 12 oz - Black Tea
  • 16 oz - skim milk
Grade: B
Consider the amount of time run today, I probably didn't eat enough calories and should have had more, smaller meals (was full this morning and skipped eating before the run). Breakfast and lunch should have been smaller portions. Caesar salad is not the healthiest, but it's the first salad I've had in a long time and a step in the right direction. I didn't do any candy or anything too crazy today. I guess being held accountable by having to write the food down helped. For me, this was a good eating day. Not going to an A because not enough fruits and veggies, probably didn't eat enough today and had a lot of caffeine. I was definitely thirst today as can be seen. Fluids were fine for the day.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Google App Engine

I was fortunate enough to be one of the first 10,000 to sign up for the Google App Engine. I heard people say that they tried to sign up a few hours after the notice came out and the limit was already reached. I guess I was fortunate to be online at the right time and subscribed to the correct rss feeds to be able to jump right on the idea. Well, this is just one more thing to fill my spare time with. Like I said before, I have too many hobbies.

This is yet one more very interesting idea that Google has come up with. I plan to play around with the SDK and the engine and see what I can come up with. There are things that I do almost daily that would be good ideas for small applications to create for my first try. Ideas from daily weight tracking, workout logs, poker logs and others could be used for my first program. Very cool!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Running, TV and PS3

Today's entry needs to be short. I followed back to back long days with speed work today. It was the weekly ATP workout today. We kept the exercises between each repeat to the normal 400 level exercises. Next week we will bring the schedule and do the 800 level exercises to go along with our 800 repeats. The repeats weren't as bad today as I thought they'd be. I did 3:04.35, 2:56.40, 2:53.16, 2:55.99 and 2:48.08. My numbers from last week without the exercises in between were very similar 3:02.85, 2:53.52, 2:54.43, 2:46.08 and 2:43.80. I'll take it, especially since the total for today puts me very close to 50 miles for the last three days. I really need to get to the gym, but considering what I've already done this week and what is comin in the next few days, I think I'll benefit more from a day off. I feel really good right now and don't feel like I need a day off, but better safe then sorry.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have to wait to watch American Idol (3 shows this week) and The Biggest Loser this week. It will be an interesting exercise to see if I'm able to make it through the week without hearing anything about the results of any of these shows before watching them. It will also be interesting to see if my Divo completely fills up before I get the chance to clear it.

I finally got back to playing PS3 last night. I played MLB 08: The Show again. I have two separate players starting careers in Road to the Show mode. I haven't played in a few weeks and could tell I was a bit rusty. I took my pitcher who is the #1 pitcher on the staff for the AA Bingingham Mets. I had a Nuke La Loosh type performance through 5 innings. I had something like 7 strikeouts and 5 walks to go with my 1 hit shutout. I had no control. The coach brought me out for the 6th which was a mistake as I was already around 90 pitches. I walked the first two (one of which was my 3rd 4 pitch walk). He still didn't take me out. I then proceeded to give up a couple hits allowing them to tie it up before I was finally yanked. Yuck! That certainly hurt the numbers. The team pulled was still able to pull off the win after I got yanked. The scheduled game was June 28th, meaning the All-Star break is approaching. I think I'm close to getting the call for AAA at some point soon. The longer they wait to make the call, the more I can work on improving before it happens. I want to play another game tonight, but it's already after 10 and I have a couple other things to do before I can hit the sack.

One of the things I need to do before going to sleep is getting back to studying for my SCJP 1.5 certification. I have already paid for this certification exam out of my own pocket. I don't get reimbursed the fee unless I pass the test. The certificate I purchased expires on June 30 this year. I need to get to it so I don't end up cramming at the last moment. From what I've heard, this test is so difficult that it's nearly impossible to cram. So that means I get to it now.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Running 20 Today

This morning run went far better then I expected. I ran nearly 11 miles and averaged around 8:15 pace while keeping my average HR around 138. Considering how I felt during yesterday's run and the fact that I ran 18 yesterday, I assumed today was going to be a waste. Not that this is any surprise, but I was unable to fall asleep last night. After yesterday's run, my body needed rest and recovery. I probably needed about 9 hours of sleep. I didn't fall asleep until somewhere around midnight. The 5:45 alarm came mighty quick. Knowing that my body is slow to respond to lack of sleep, I will be paying for this later in the week. Especially considering that from this past Sunday through next Saturday, I will be running approximately 90 miles. I think I'm going to have to make every effort to aim for 8+ hours of sleep every night. We'll see how far I miss that goal by in a few days.

The run home didn't feel quite as good as the run into work. I felt a bit more tired which I feel is understandable since my total for the last 2 days is 41 miles. I felt like I had energy and a good turnover the entire time. I was happy with my effort. Even when I felt tired and felt like I was hardly moving, I checked my pace and saw that I was still doing sub 8s going uphill. So, it was just all mental at that point because of the physical exertion I had given over the past 2 days.

I do think I could rename this blog to "How to Train Right and Eat Wrong" or even "How Not to Train for a Marathon". One could argue about how smart running 40+ miles in 2 days is, but I don't have a problem with that. My problem comes with my nutrition. It has been atrocious lately. I had a shake before the morning run and a power bar after the run. So far, so good. For lunch, I felt like Mexican (mistake #1). I got the 2 burrito meal. Given the price of this meal compared to other meals, I didn't think they would actually give me 2 real burritos. Well, I was wrong. Carrying the container that this meal came in was a workout in itself. No wonder this country is so stinking fat. There has to be enough calories in this meal of at least 3 people to overeat. I got a chicken burrito and a beef burrito along with rice and beans. Well, I took one bite of the beef burrito and it was all nasty and juicy. Blech! And it was full of onions and peppers, which I don't like. In the trash it goes. Next comes the chicken burrito. Full of onions, but the chicken was good. This flour tortilla around this thing probably had about 20 grams of fat. Very buttery and floury. I took it apart to eat the chicken and pulled off couple pieces of the tortilla. Still, so far, so good. Now is where things get dicey. The beans were extremely unhealthy, but tasty. I didn't just want to eat the rice and beans by themselves. So I go to the vending machine and buy a bag of nacho flavored Doritos and proceed to dip them in the rice and beans to finish them off. I'm sure that was way too many calories and far too much fat. I felt like something sweet afterwards so I go back to the vending machine and buy a Milky Way. What an idiot. I justified it by saying, "Hey, I'm running over 20 today". During the run home I had a bag of Sport Beans and did pita chips with roasted red pepper hummus after my run. Not much of a recovery snack, but it could have been worse. Dinner wasn't bad as it was milk, chicken soup and crackers. Again I wanted something sweat so I had 2 small pieces of candy. I finished off the night with 2 Samuel Adams Light beers. Wow!!! I don't think you will find most of these ideas written in print anywhere. I'm sure I could do way worse, but with putting in the miles I'm putting in, I need to (re)fuel my body properly. This is just plain ridiculous.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Carlsbad 5000 and Today's Long Run

As I mentioned yesterday, I had to do my weekly long run on Sunday this week instead of Saturday. I met up with a running buddy in Carlsbad and we ran to the start of the Carlsbad 5000 today. We jumped into the race and did a few laps of the course. We never went down the finishing or starting chute, but we got to join in the fun with a lot of people. I don't really feel this was banditing the course as we just ran part of the course and spent most of the time on the side, away from congestion. This is a good way to pass time as you are doing a long run. The miles just melted away. By the time we got to about 14ish, we turned around to head home. As I suspected yesterday, it was not an easy run today. I ended up getting bruised on my legs and back from go kart racing yesterday. So there was some discomfort from that. In addition, my legs were more sore then normal for some reason. My HR was extremely elevated for most of the run today. Even when I did not feel like I was pushing it, I was over 160 a lot. Not sure what happened, but I'm just going to chalk it up to the end of a bad week.

I want to get 2 20+ mile runs in during the week. I don't really want to do one tomorrow, but unless I completely change things around, I won't get my first chance until Thursday. So, Monday it is. I'll just take it easy tomorrow as today felt a bit more difficult then I'd like. Tuesday I'll do my normal ATP speedwork and then Wednesday to the gym. Thursday I'll run into work again and Friday will either be a day off or the gym again. Next Saturday will be another 20 miler. This will be the end to what will likely be a difficult week.

After the run today, I did tons of running around and shopping. None of it is very exciting except the last thing I did was to go out and buy a new 24" Samsung LCD monitor. I finally have a realistic resolution at home. This is nice as I'll be able to get much more on the screen.

I'm pretty worn out and think I'll be retiring early tonight. It was a long tough weekend and I have to wake up early tomorrow to run into work. With that, I'll leave this one short.

P.S., I promise the VO2 max info will come one of these days.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Go Kart Racing, Carlsbad 5000 and a Down Running Week

Long time, no write. The last few days have been pretty. I do most of my writing at night and I haven't had much time at night lately to add to this. I've just been busy and tired. I've been quite the slacker when it's come to exercise lately. I guess I should have scheduled this week a bit better. Monday I did 20+ with a commute run and Tuesday I did speed work. Wednesday was a scheduled day off. Thursday I went to the gym, Friday I did V02/lactate test (more on that later) and Saturday did not involve any exercise. I will be doing my normal Saturday long run on Sunday, but this 4 day period from Wednesday through Saturday I will only have gone to the gym once and the bit of running I did at the fitness test on Friday. I'm thinking there aren't many training plans that have you drop back this far 2 months before the race. Anyway, starting Sunday, I should be back at it pretty good.

Today I did go kart racing at K1 Speed in Carlsbad. That was so much fun. I had done this type of racing before, but this was the first time doing those races with other people as aggressive as me. We did a 14 lap qualifying race when I ended up in 3rd place over .21 behind 2nd and .45 behind the leader. The calculated this based on start time rather then track position. I spun out twice. There was more then .46 seconds there which would have had me first. The 2nd race was a the final race that was 16 laps and we were placed in starting position from where we qualified. Since we had 21 of us out there, there was a fast group and a slow group. I qualified 4th and by the 2nd lap already, I moved into 3rd. Not more then 2 seconds after moving to third, the guy I passed rammed into the back of me and spun me out. He passed and allowed 4th place to pass me. After a few more laps I worked my way back to 4th place. He had a lapped guy in front of him. I found a corner and snuck in to pass both of them at the same time. At the point I was fully past, I had to slow a tick to get around the corner and the guy rammed me right into a way causing me to spin out. Damn! Back into 5th. I spent the next 6 laps working my way back up to the rear of 4th place. By the time I was ready to start thinking about passing again, the race was over. So I finished 5th overall. Not bad, I guess, but I definitely should have finished 3rd. Oh well, it was loads of fun. It's hard to get in your car after that and drive regular. You just want to floor it and fly around the corners.

As I mentioned earlier, I will be doing my weekly long run tomorrow. I'll be doing about 15-18 miles on pretty flat ground. As my running has really been lax lately, I don't expect this to be as easy as it has been. I was given a race number for the Carlsbad 5000 in place of a running buddy who has been nursing a sore ankle. This is supposed to be a really fast and fun race. I'd love to really race it, but as I'll be in the middle of 18 miles, I'm thinking that burning it out for 5K might make the rest of the run a bit tough. Since I'm running in my buddies number, I have to try represent at least a little bit.

Well, this has already run pretty long for the day. I'm going to save my lactate threshold testing until tomorrow's blog as I think it will take up at least one full journal entry. I have some thinking to do about my training. I'm hoping to hash out some details in tomorrow's blog to help me. I need to decide if I want to just continue running for fun or take it more serious and use the results from my fitness testing to generate a training plan that optimizes my gains in performance. I've gotten into a comfortable groove with my training which has been mostly base building, but I'll need to alter it a bit to improve speed and VO2 max. I think with the training that I currently do that I'll continue to improve, but it can be better and faster. It seems that the test results are recommending I follow the Joe Friel approach to periodize my training. I've pretty much been doing base build for the past few months. It's now time to start building on the base and up the intensity. That's basically what I got out of the test. On that note, we'll call it a night.

Bad Mood Breaker

Sorry to post another You Tube video, but I just saw this and had to add it. If you are in a bad mood and want to feel better, this should do the trick.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Race Times

Today is another scheduled day of rest and there isn't anything exciting to report. I'm working on adding the weekly schedule for Marc Fit so the group will have a place to go to find out the details of upcoming workouts (in addition to the group emails). As I've got nothing of interest to post today, I'm just putting up all my race results, even those before I would consider myself a runner.

Marathons
  1. 1/20/2002 San Diego Marathon 4:07:16
  2. 1/19/2003 San Diego Marathon 3:40:33
  3. 6/1/2003 Rock and Roll Marathon 3:38:14
  4. 10/12/2003 Chicago Marathon 3:08:18
  5. 4/19/2004 Boston Marathon 3:43:05
  6. 12/4/2005 Las Vegas Marathon 3:29:41
  7. 6/3/2007 Rock and Roll Marathon 3:26:09
  8. 10/6/2007 St. George Marathon 3:14:19
  9. 12/2/2007 California International Marathon 3:18:30
Half Marathons
  1. 11/18/2001 - Silver Strand - 1:39:56
  2. 11/17/2002 - Silver Strand - 1:32:09
  3. 8/17/2003 - America's Finest City - 1:29:55
  4. 8/20/2006 - America's Finest City - 1:32:58
  5. 8/19/2007 - America's Finest City - 1:32:14
5K
  1. 11/4/2001 - Race for the Cure - 20:41
Sprint Triathlons
  1. 10/1/2006 - Jamba Juice Triathlon - 1:04:12
8K
  1. 5/10/1998 - Patriot Cup Corporate Challenge - 42:56
  2. 5/8/1999 - Patriot Cup Corporate Challenge - 45:32
  3. 11/6/2004 - Dalmation Dash - 37:28

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

800 Repeats and American Idol

Today is my normal speed day where we do a workout called ATP. This is a program that my running group participated in back when we all first got into marathon when we were part of a program called USA Fit. If you are new to marathon and would like some help, guidance and running partners, this is a great beginner program. It won't get you a fast race, but it will get you to the finish line. Anyway, the ATP program was added to USA Fit to help those that were a little more advanced to get some speed work added to their program. We took this and altered it a bit for our purposes. As a group, we have done it off and on now for many years. Oh by the way, when I say we, I mean the members of Marc Fit. This is a spin-off group of a bunch of us that met 6-7 years ago doing USA Fit here in San Diego. The link is to a blog that is very dated and not updated any more. If anyone is interested in more info, I can fill you in (and maybe convince Marc to keep his blog more up to date).

Wow! I didn't intend to do any advertising for these groups, but hey, they are responsible for helping me get to where I am today. So today was ATP with Marc Fit. Only myself and one other person showed up so instead of doing the ATP program, we decided to do a warm up, 5x800 and then a cool down. I haven't done 800s in a while so I was a bit unsure of the pacing. I did 3:02, 2:53, 2:54, 2:48 and 2:43 all with a 100m walk for recovery. Not great, but not horrible. I'll take it.

Friday is my fitness testing. Once this is done, I will do 2 speed sessions a week for the next 4-5 weeks. That will take me up to my taper for RnR. I have found that during my taper, cutting back on distance is important (as everyone knows), but doing this while also keeping up the intensity. I still push hard to keep my body and mind in tune with the speeds I'm looking for. At this point, I'm shooting for a 3:20 for the next race, but if the weather corporates and my running buddy (who is way faster then me, but currently out of shape) and I feel good, we will pick up the pace at some point and see what we can do.

American Idol this week was interesting. As expected, Simon hated almost every performance. He claims to like country music, but over the years, he has hated nearly every performance that has sounded remotely country. A couple of weeks ago, I missed the Tuesday show because my Divo forgot to record it. I found a wonderful website for that situation that allows you to listen to and watch the performances for the night. Check out rickey.org if you missed a show or want to watch some performances again. He covers a lot of shows on his site so you can catch up on a lot of stuff if you missed it. Here's my order from the performances tonight.
  1. David A.
  2. David C.
  3. Michael
  4. Carly
  5. Syesha
  6. Brooke
  7. Jason
  8. Kristy
  9. Ramiele
We'll see what tomorrow brings. Personally, I feel the bottom three can go in any order. After that I think it's Syesha's turn. If this actually happens, the final 5 should be great and make for some very entertaining weeks leading up to the finale.