Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I would just like to take a minute to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

I hope that the new year brings many great things to all. Lets hope that our jobs remain secure and hope that the economy stabilizes. I am looking forward to a good (but challenging) year and plan on continuing to run in 2009. I have already signed up for a 25K (about 16 miles) Endurathon in January and I have signed up for the 2009 San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon.

Hope that everyone has a great 2009!!!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Reindeer Run

The Alamo Series is putting on its final race of the year and it is called The Reindeer Run. The Alamo Series is a group of races that were put together to help prepare people for the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon. They have awards for people that ran in more than 7 of the races. This run is a 5k fun run and there will be no official times. In fact all of the bib numbers are the same number - 2008.

This race is extra special to me for two reasons:

The first reason is that I will be running with Arin. This is Arin's first 5k race and I am looking forward to running with her. I plan on staying with her for the entire race. This will be the farthest distance that she has run.

The second reason that this race is special is that we will have a large cheering section as Jill, Larry, my Mom, Benn, and Mindy all got up super early to come and cheer us on. Any of you that know Benn then you know that anytime before noon is super early for him.

Benn and Mindy flew in late the night before the race from Michigan. They are spending ten days with us to celebrate the holidays. My mom and dad are also in town for a couple of weeks for the holidays. Add Jill's dad and Josh being home from college and that adds up to a house full. Glad we bought a big house when we moved here so that we can fit all of these visitors.

Okay back to the Reindeer run...
I reminded Arin that we needed to pace ourselves because we had to run 5k. When Arin and I did the SARR Fun Run she ran in the 1/2 mile and 1 mile runs and took off like a bat out of Haiti and ran out of steam before the finish line. I also reminded her to save a little near the end for a big finish.

Shortly after we started we were greeted by everyone and picked up a bottle of water for the rest of the run. We were on our way after the short break.

After about another half mile we came across everyone again.

It seems that Larry had done a really good job of staking out the race course and found a couple of places that they could meet up with us. This was not easy as we were running on a trail and they had to park in the business that were in front of the trail. On the way back we came across them again at the first location. It was definitely nice for everyone to see Arin run and for Arin to see everyone out there supporting her.

We took a couple of walk breaks along the way and seemed to be swapping places with a group of older ladies. As we were about a mile from the finish line I said to Arin that we got to beat these old ladies. She cracked me up when she said "I know that is what I am trying to do!!!" In this picture you can see the ladies that we were trying to beat in the background.

We took the lead from them about 1/2 mile from the finish and they were not match for us when we kicked in the BIG FINISH!!!

I could tell that Arin was having a hard time, but she kept going and finished real strong. Here are a couple of picks from the finish line.

Every one was very proud at how well she had done. Great Job ARIN!!!

May the Force Be with You!!!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Post Marathon Running

Well I have continued to run after the marathon. Since the Marathon I have run in the SARR Turket Trot 4 mile run and a the SARR 10 Mile Missions 10k run. I did well on both runs. The 10 mile run I did at about a 9:12 min/mile pace, which I was very pleased with.

I had thought about stopping running at least for a while shortly after the Turkey Trot. I dreaded the though about going running once I got home, but I went ahead and ran that night anyways. I took it easy on the run and when I finished I felt great and liked running again. I think that I had been pushing myself too hard and needed to stop and slow down a little. That was all it took and I am back into it.

Although I am not as dedicated as I was when training for the marathon. There have been a couple of nights that I decided to not run or cut the run short because of the weather. One night I was about 1 1/2 miles into my run of 4 miles when it started to hail. Yes that is right HAIL!!!! in Texas can you believe it. I kept going for a little while and figured why put up with this (it stung pretty good being hit by the hail) when I am not training for anything so I called it a night.

On December 13th I will be running in the Reindeer Run 5k with Arin. This will be Arin's first 5k race!!!!

Anyway that it all for this update.

May the Force be with You!!!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Post Race

After the race Gill and I met up with my Wife and kids and went back to the AT&T Center to pick up our cars and head home. Gill and I stopped and got some ice so that I could take my ritual ice bath and Gill could ice his knees. They did have ice available after the race and I did ice my knees there while waiting for Gill to finish.

After we chilled out (HA HA - get it chilled out and ice), we went out to eat at Chama Gaucha, a Brazilian steakhouse, that had recently opened in San Antonio. I had been to one other one in Chicago and it is pretty neat. It is all you can eat and they have a nice salad bar that is filled with Brazilian dishes and they walk around to the tables with different meats on a stick and shave some off. It is a pretty neat concept, but it is pricey. It was all you can eat, which was really good after just running a marathon. Gill is from Brazil and he was able to speak to the wait staff in Portuguese and was able to explain to me what some of the dishes were. I had to laugh as we were both soooo sore from the marathon that we were walking around like stiff old men. LOL!!! I am sure the other people in the restaurant were wondering what the heck...

I took the day after the marathon off from work, but still had to get up early to take Gill to the airport and take the kids to school. I came back home and took a nap. When I woke back up I decided to go and see the new James Bond movie Quantum of Solace and treated myself to some ice cream at DQ.

I was sore for about the next two days, but after that I was pretty much back to normal.

May the Force be with You!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Race Pictures

Pictures from the race can be seen at the following web site. My BIB #22001. Enter it in the Photo Search box. Gill's BIB # is 16056.

Race Pictures

There are also some pictures that are not yet under our BIB numbers. Enter these numbers in the Photo Id section of the Photo Search box.




Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Race Report!!!!

We gradually made our way closer to the starting line. As we got closer I got a little more excited. Soon it was our corral's turn at the start. Ready set GOOOOOO!!!

And we were off.

The start of the race was pretty fun. We were having a pretty good time. Gill and I were chatting back and forth as we were going. Within the first couple of miles we came across a couple of idiots riding their bikes in the middle of the street full of runners. Of course I had to get after them about being there. I don't think that it did much good, but they got out of the road at the next street. I realized right away that my Star Wars jersey from Primal Wear was perfect for running. There are deep pockets on the back that actually go below the waistline of my shorts and that kept all the stuff that I was carrying from bouncing around. I would definitely recommend Primal Wear jersey to runners doing the marathon.

Gill started having some pains in his feet pretty early on. These were the same pains that he got near the end of the Detroit marathon that he ran about a month earlier.

It was a fairly cold morning, but I had ditched my sweatpants at the gear check and was wearing a sweatshirt, hat, and gloves. We reached the Alamo at mile two and decided it was time to take of the sweatshirt and reveal "The StarWars Runner"!!!!

Things were going pretty good we were maintaining around a 10 min/mile pace and it felt really pretty good. There were several kids along the route that looked pretty bored. So I started making an effort to give them "five" as I was running by. The kids really seemed to enjoy this and it would bring a smile to their face.

A little while later Gill started his own variation of this by trying to get the HOT women spectators to give him high fives.

We were following our race strategy of walking through the water stations. Gill seemed to notice some benefit to this compared to how he ran the Detroit Marathon. Gill and I ran in the general vicinity of each other for about 10 miles and then he had to slow down/stop because of his foot. One minute he was there and the next time I looked back and I couldn't see him. I continued to do well and maintain the 10 min/mile pace. I did have some groin area pain and some pain in my toes, but I was able to run through the pain.

I met up with Jill and the girls around mile 14 and still felt good. I ditched the sweatshirt and gloves. I told the girls to hold out their hands and give the runners "five" as they ran by. I should of had Arin and Rachel run with me for a short way. I was really nice to see them and I was glod to get rid of the stuff that I was carrying. It was shortly after mile 15 that I started to have problems.

The support on the back half of the course was not nearly as good as on the front half. I started listening to the ipod in this area. It was around mile 18 when I started wanting to stop and walk more often, but held off through about mile 20. I finally reached mile 20. This was the point of the unknown. I had previously only run 20 miles so this was all new territory for me. It was around mile 20 that I remember my thighs really burning. On the bright side the groin pain was gone and so was the pain in my toes. It was also around this time that I noticed I was running slower than the 10min/mile pace that I had been maintaining over the first half of the race.

I remember passing the mile markers around mile 23 and I could see the Tower of the Americas in the distance and the Alamodome, but they never seemed to get any closer. I definitely knew at this point that it was all mental. I will have to remember to do a better job of creating mental images or repeating a mantra to myself as I run these last 6 miles. I finally made it to the Alamodome and was running on the side and I turned the corner to head up the dreaded hill that was just before the finish line. I had toured the course before the race so I was aware of the hill. I am not sure yet if that was a mistake or a smart thing to do. The hill was not horrible but the location was!!! The cool thing about this was that there spectators lined all the way up the hill and around the corner to the finish line.

I made it up the hill and rounded the corner to see the finish line. My running became easier since I just came off the hill and I knew that I would make it to the end. I was not able to muster the energy to have a big finish, but I was just happy to cross the finish line. The clock time was 5:15 minutes and my chip time was 4:45 minutes. I crossed and got my medal. I was most surprised by the fact that I just wanted to cry. This was really surprising to me. I walked around the finish line area drinking water and trying to keep loose while I waited for Gill.

I kept looking for Gill, but had not seen him cross. I was becoming more and more worried that he had not been able to finish. I had no way to get a hold of him as he did not have his cell phone (this is one thing that I would change next time - I would make sure that we have a back-up communication plan.) I finally spoke to my mom and had her look him up online. She said that he had not yet crossed the mile 24 split and 1.5 hours had passed since the split at mile 20 (I think). I thought that He had come in off the course and I now I had to go and find him. A few minutes later mom called and said that he just crossed the 24 mile split. This made me feel a whole lot better. Now I waited around for him to cross the finish line. He finished in 6 hours and 15 minutes.

One of the things that I realized from this race is that there are so many variables that can go wrong when running such a long distance that it is just amazing to finish. It would be nice to set a new personal record with each race, but there are just too many possible issues that can cause you problems during the race.

I DID IT!!!!

May the Force be with You!!!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Race Day!!!!

I had a hard time falling asleep for the last several days before the marathon.. I am not quite sure why as I did not really feel nervous or excited about the race (at least not that could tell). My goal was to finish so it's not like I had to do my very best or that I was hoping to win so I don't think I had anything to be nervous about.

We got up pretty early to give us enough time to get to the AT&T Center and take the shuttle to the start line. Gill and I went for a quick 1/2+ jog before we left as a little warm up. We get to the AT&T Center and there were some pretty long lines to get onto the shuttles. When we left the AT&T center there had to have been 6 - 8 thousand people still waiting for the bus. I think that we waited for maybe 30 minutes or so and rode the bus for another 20 minutes. We had to walk quite a ways from where the bus dropped us off to get to the starting line. By the time we got up there they had already started the race. On the bus there were a bunch of people that were concerned about getting there after the start of the race, but to me it didn't really matter because your time is based on when you cross the starting line with the chip in your shoe.

While we were making the trek to the start line there were all kinds of people (both men and women) running off among the buildings along side the road to go to the bathroom. I had heard that people would do that during the race, but I was surprised they would need to do that before the race. It was crazy!!!

We got up to the start line area and checked in our gear bags and used the bathrooms. We still had plenty of time to find our corral group before they crossed the starting line. Since it was a cold morning people had worn extra clothes so that they could keep warm before and during the race. As we got closer to the starting line you could see that they had started to shed these clothes. Some of the clothes looked pretty nice too. We continued to see articles of clothes along the course, but mostly hat and gloves.

Our group finally made it to the front and after 30 seconds or so they released our corral and we were off....

I had started my FIRST marathon!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Expo

My marathon experience first began with the Health and Fitness Expo. You must go to the Expo to pickup your race packet, goodie bag and T-shirt or you cannot run in the race. Essentially they force you to come to the expo to try and entice you into buying their souvenirs or buying items from the race exhibitors. This seems to be a successful tactic as they got me to so both. I purchased a RNR San Antonio tech shirt, bought a book, and some shot blocks that I needed for the race the next day. The expo was fairly crowded, but did pick up some good samples from Cytomax. Gill was not impressed with the medals that most of the races at the expo were displaying as the medal from the Detroit Marathon was much better that all of the others.

While there we had the opportunity to meet with Marathon Chris at the expo. Chris has the blog and podcast called Running Adventures in an Extraordinary World. It was neat meeting a podcaster that you have listened. After getting to know them in cyberspace, by listening to their podcasts and reading their blogs, it was nice to talk in person. I see that she has already posted several items on her blog about the race so be sure to check that out also. Here is a picture of me with Maraton Chris.

While we were at the Expo we listed to several of the speakers that were putting on the clinics. Several were pretty funny and they were also interesting. The people that we heard were John Bingham, a Runners World journalist that run's mararthon's in the back of the pack, The Hansons, which is a Detroit, MI area elite running team, and Bart Yasso, a Runner's World journalist that has run in a lot of extreme events. Bart was also at the Expo autographing his book about his running life. After listening to him talk it sounded like his book would be interesting. The photo below is of Bart Yasso(on the right)

We skipped the pre-race pasta party to have a pasta party at my house as my wife was making a really good baked spaghetti dish to load us up with carbs for the next day. This was a much better idea for me as I knew that if I went to the pasta party I would have eaten a lot more that I should have.

Next I will be talking about arriving at the race and the race start.


WE DID IT!!!!!!

Here are our results from the marathon on Sunday. It was tough especially the last 6 miles. It was definitely mental. When I was at the 23 mile marker the finishe line seemed oh so far away and as I kept going it did not seem like it was getting any closer. I will be working on posting more about the marathon in the coming days as I get time to process the race.

My results - I met my ultimate goal of finishing the marathon and I finished in less than 5 hours, which was my next goal. I fell short of my stretch goal of a 4:30 finish, but I am pleased with how I did!!!

Gill's results - He had some problems early on in the race, but he persevered and finished strong!!!! Gill also ran the Detroit Marathon less than a month ago. So I think he was behind the 8 ball from the beginning!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon

Well, the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon is upon us and I have put up some useful links on the right hand side of the blog that you may want to use to view details of the marathon. One of the links will take you to the results page were you can review the results of the race and check on my (or another runner's) progress during the race. Below I have provided a brief summary of the links that I have put on the left side.

As I review the last six months or so when I really started to entertain the this crazy idea of me running a marathon (yeah I know still sounds really funny!!!) I am surprised about what I have accomplished.

To think this really all started when my friend Gill called me last November and really wanted me to participate in some way in the this event. I appeased him and agreed to do some kind of event a 5k walk or something. I still don't know what possessed me to entertain the idea of running last June when I first entered that 10k race. Or the following week when I was in Michigan and conned my two sons into running with me in another 10k race.

At first I figured I would start training for the race whether I would end up trying the whole thing or just the half I wasn't sure. Truthfully, I didn't think that it mattered much because I figured I would have sustained a running ending injury long before this point. I had even waited until just before the price increase to sign up for the race because I figured I wouldn't make it that far. Unfortunately or fortunately (I guess I will let you know after the race on Sunday) my maladies have been essentially minor and have not significantly interfered with my training. I have listed below a brief comparison of where I started and where I am today.

Since I started training I have run over 370 miles. Which means I might have run far enough to almost be out of the state of Texas.

I ran my first 10k at a pace of 11:58/mile to finish in 1 hour and 14 minutes. My last 10k, on September 20th, I ran at a pace of 8:46min/mile and finished in 54 minutes.

In the beginning of July my training runs were run at a pace around 11:40 minutes per mile. Now my training runs are around a 9:15 min/mile pace.

San Antonio RNR Marathon - This is the link to the overall marathon website. There is lots of good information on this website and you can find about anything that you are looking for related to the marathon

SARNR Course Information - This link will take you to the details about the marathon route, the course mile by mile, course elevations and road closures

SARNR Results Page - This link you should be able to click on during the race and see the times that I have made as I progress through the race. After the race you will be able to see the final race results.

SARNR Race Medals - Here you can view the medals that will be awarded to the finishers.

PRIMAL WEAR - This link will take you to the company that made the Star Wars jersey that I will be wearing during the race.

Thanks for viewing my blog.

May the Force be with you!!!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Runner's High

You often hear from runners about the "runner's high" that runners often get while running. Whenever I heard about this mystical phenomenon I always thought how crazy they must be to run wether or not there is a "runner's high" or not. I have to admit that since I started this journey I have learned a lot about running and the runner's high.

Below I have listed a few of the things that I have learned since I started running:

Clothing - I learned that you don't run or exercise in cotton clothing as it soaks up your sweat like a sponge and you run around with heavy, soaked shirts and shorts. Cotton underwear makes you feel like you are wearing a wet diaper. You definitely want to wear techincal/moisture wicking t-shirts, shorts, socks, and underwear.

Protection - Another very, very important thing I learned is that when running more than six miles I need to make sure that I cover up those sensitive areas on my chest. Yes, I am referring to the nipples. Your shirt rubbing up and down on your nipples for more than 6 miles becomes very painful. I have learned that you need to either cover them with bandaids or put on an anti-chafing glide stick. It is also important to have this available when running longer distances as you will want to reapply this on your long runs. I will admit that I learned this the hard way!!!

As the beginning suggests I have also learned about the runner's high. Although I did not start running because of this mystically item I was curious about it. What is it? what does it feel like? when do you get it? How far/hard do you have to run etc.

Well I have uncovered the secret of the runner's high. As I have discovered on my frequent nightly runs in my neighborhood, the runner's high is the contact buzz you get from running by your neighbors house as they stand in the driveway smoking pot.

There you have it the mystery has been revealed and now you know why I have been enjoying running!!!

May the Force be with you!!!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Marathon Planning

I have been thinking a lot about the strategy that I want to use for the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon. I think I need to remember what is most important, which for me is first to finish and second to have an enjoyable race. As this is my first marathon I have no idea what it is like going to be like to run in this event.
Not only is the distance further than I have ever run the magnitude of the event is huge!!! With 30k people signed up to race it is far bigger than the other races that I have run that have had several hundred people at most.

Right now I am thinking that I will run 1 to 2 miles and take a maybe 30 second walk break. It will be important to start these walk breaks right from the beginning. If I were to wait until I am already fatigued or having pain, then the damage will have been done and these breaks will not do much to help. I also want to try to savor the sights and sounds of the event. I will have other opportunities to have a really good time as my goal.

I will also be packing several packs of the Clif Shot Blocks to eat while I run to help me ensure that I have plenty of energy throughout the race and avoid hitting the wall at the end. I will also probably pack some Power Bars or Clif Bars.

I want this one to be for me to savor the journey that I have been on for the last 1 1/2 years.

May the Force be with you!!!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Taper

After I completed the 20 mile long run I started what is referred to as the taper. This is when you significantly reduce your running about 2 to 3 weeks before the race. Essentially you do just enough running and cross training to maintain your fitness, but let your body get completely rested and healed before the marathon (or other race).

Hopefully, this taper period will help prevent race day issues with my right knee and hip. I have 2 weeks left before the marathon and I only have five more runs scheduled on my training log. Gill and I will probably go out for a slow short run together on Saturday.

I have not really seen much change in my times since the last long run, but my last run was five miles and I felt pretty good during the run.

May the Force be with you!!!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Poll Results!!!!

Well the results of the poll are in and we have a three way tie!!!!

The masses have voted and it is official Arin, Rachael, and Jill make the SW Jersey look good!!!! As for me, well not so much...

Thanks to all that voted!!!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Last (Really) Long Run

Today I completed the last long run before I run the San Antonio Rock and Roll marathon on November 16. The task in front of me was a daunting 20 mile run. YIKES!!! Previously the most I had run was 17.6 miles and had horrible results (right knee pain and had to walk the last 3 miles or so)

Me run 20 miles. I rarely drive 20 miles let alone run that far. I mapped out the route that I would have to follow to accomplish this task and it will consist of one loop around the outer neighborhood, 2 loops around the major roads in the area, and a final lap on our road.

The run took me 3:48 to complete, which was at a pace of 11:25 min/mile. I was once again plagued with right knee pain right groin area and right hip pain. The pain didn't really start to rear its ugly head until around mile 12 or 13. This time I was able to continue the run, but had to take frequent walk breaks. Considering the issues with the pain and the walking I think that this was a good time. I hope that I will not have these issues on MARATHON DAY!!! Hopefully the rest that I get before the race will be enough of break for these issues to heal. For some reason I don't have the knee pain or the groin area pain until I go the long distances. These do not bother me when I run the regular 5 - 6 miles or even the occasional 8 mile run. Go Figure!!! I will have to include walk breaks throughout the marathon in my strategy to complete the race.

I returned home and went about my recovery routine of drinking lots of fluids, eating, stretching, an ice bath, and laying down with legs elevated.

Another accomplishment to put in the books. One more big one to go and it is only 3 weeks away!!!

May the Force be with you!!!


RGR Fall Fest 25k and 8k - Volunteer

Today I am voluneering at the RGR race. I felt that this race would be a good opportunity to allow me to give back to the running organization. I signed up to help with the parking in the morning and then as a course marshal during the race.

The race was being held about 40 min from the house at a new park that is not yet open to the public. The park is between Boerne and Comfort off I-10.

The parking was annoying as the people think the rules or direction of the staff does not apply to them. So one person doesn't follow directions then all of the others follow not knowing any difference and next thing that you know you have a mess. I guess it helps my gain perspective in the future when I think the rules don't apply to me. On second thought it won't!!!

The course marshal part was faily busy. It started off by me getting lost and driving off the course. This ended up helping as other volunteers also ended up getting lost. I had to direct the runners to turn left on their first pass by me and then turn left on thier return. I also had to stop traffic to let the runners cross.

I was posted at the top of a fairly large hill, which made me glad that I didn't run the race. The view from the hill was beautiful!!! The photographer from Hill Country Rambling website was also at the hill for part of the race taking pictures. I will check the website and see if there are any good pictures of the view.

Overall it was a good experience ane will probably do it again. I did get a coupon for a free race entry, a T-shirt (that ended up being too small), and some food.

May the Force be with you!!!


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Training Update

Things have been going pretty well with the training. I have not really had any issues with my running since the knee pain that I had while doing the 18 mile training run.

Speed Workouts - I have been doing the Speed workouts each week and ran the last one at a 9min/mile pace. These workouts are a combination of running hard for five mins followed by easy running for 2. I have been doing 4 sets of these. I first started these three weeks ago and did that one at a pace of 9:48 min/mile.

Easy mid week runs - These have been going well also. I was able to maintain a 9:14 min/mile at an easy pace for 5 miles. This is down from 9:43 about two weeks ago.

Long Runs - I have done one long run that was 8.2 miles and did that at a pace of 9:55 min/mile.

It is encouraging to continue to see such good progress in my running. I look back at where I started and am amazed at how far I have come. I will have to run the first race that I ran in June again next year to see what my time.

I am going to move my long run from Sat to Sun as I will be volunteering at the RGR Fall Fest 25k and 8k. I would have participated in the race but I have to do 20 miles this weekend and I do not want to cut it short.

May the Force be with you!!!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lake Corpus Christi Triathalon

Well I decided that I would get up in the morning and see if they needed any more volunteers for the triathlon. I thought it would be a good opportunity to give back since the races that I run are dependent upon volunteers.

They assigned me to be the marshal in the area where they return from the bike ride and head out on the 5k run. They were supposed to ride in from one direction and run in the other direction. I tried to make sure that the participants knew they had to run towards me and not back the way they came. So I ended up just saying "Runners this way" over and over again.

It was pretty boring, but I was able to see how the while triathlon thing works. There was one guy that took like 35 minutes to swim (400 meters I think). The fastest people were finishing in about 8 minutes. One time he was swimming into the middle of the swim course. Way in the wrong direction.

I was glad that I had the opportunity to help out and I am sure I will do it again some day.

May the Force be with you!!!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

World Wide Festival of Races

This weekend was also the Worldwide Festival of Races, which is a virtual race that is put on by a few of the major podcasters. Steve Runner from the Phedippidations podcast is one of the main organizers of the event. I think this is the third year that they have done this race. This year there are over 1000 participants.

I was scheduled to do an 18 mile long run as part of my marathon training so I figured I would just use note the time that I had completed the 13.1 miles and record that time and take the average minutes/mile of the long run and apply that to determine the time for the half marathon. Since I had the issues with my running and I was on an unfamiliar course and had difficulty know where the 13.1 mile point was I just made an estimate on my time.

I was starting to make plans to get Arin, Jill and several of the neighbors to do a 5k walk as part of the race but since we went camping it did not work out.

Oh well there is always next year.

May the Force be with you!!!


18 Miler

This weekend we are camping at Lake Corpus Christi State Park in Mathis, Tx. It is located about 30 minutes from Corpus Christi or Corpus Chisry as Rachael calls it (LOL). She is such a card. Keeps us cracking up!!!

This is was our first time camping hear and it is pretty nice. I was surprised by all of the wildlife in the park. There were wild boars roaming the camp grounds day and night. While there we also saw armadillos, rabbits, and deer. We went camping with our friends Zeke and Suzie and their kids.

The first night Zeke and I drove around the park trying to map out a the mileage and route for my 18 mile long run that I had to do on Saturday morning. The first thing that I noticed was that there were A LOT of hills. I think I counted 7 or 8 significant hills in a 4.4 miles.

I got up early on Saturday so that I could get the run over with before the others were up for very long. So I dragged my butt out of bed and realized that it was still dark (which it normally is when I start my long runs), but the problem was that unlike at home there are no street lights. It was pitch black and I could hardly see the road. Needless to day I postponed the start of my long run until there was a little more light.

I got started and it was going pretty well. I was able to complete the first loop in about 50 minutes and the second loop in 52 minutes, which I didn't think was too bad considering all of the hills. Sometime during the second and third loops I started getting some pain in my right knee. At first I tried to mix in some walking and stretching hoping that would fix the problem. As I continued on the pain got worse and I eventually decided to finish the 4th loop by walking as I didn't want to risk an injury (assuming that this was only a minor issue). I finished in 3:50 minutes and did a total of 17.6 miles.

I am hoping that this pain will not continue and effect more of my training. While I was on my last loop some other campers stopped and talked to me as they saw me running when they left for town and I was still going several hours later. I found out that they were there for a triathlon that was occurring the next day right there in the park. I would have participated if only I had know!!!

May the Force be with you!!!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Speedworkout

My training plan called for something new this week. Starting this week I am scheduled to do one "Speed Workout" ~~chuckle chuckle~~ each week.

Okay pick yourself up off the floor. I know it is funny to have speed mentioned when having anything to do with me. It is just a name and does not infer in anyway that I am fast or that I will ever be. Although I was just browsing the detroit marathon website and saw that the first person to break a 2:17 time on the Marathon gets an additional $5,000 cash prize. 2:17 doesn't sound that bad (to say). Anyway it gives me a goal to work towards(Yeah right).

Okay, let me get back on track...

The speed workout ~~chuckle chuckle~~ (sorry it is still funny to say/write/think) starts out with a five minute walk and then goes into a 10 minute easy "warmup" run. After this the fun starts and you pick up the pace and run fairly hard for five minutes and then you run easy for two minutes. You do this 5min/2min cycle four times and then finish with a five minute easy run and 5 minute walk.

I didn't really care for this workout, but I think it was because I did the first five minute run way to fast that the other cycle were pretty difficult and left me out of breath and tired.

I will definitely have to play with this type of workout to see what works best for me. I am also very curious to see if the name comes through as an improvement in my speed!!!!

I am gearing up for my 18 mile run this weekend, which I will have to do while we are camping.

May the Force be with you!!!


Saturday, October 4, 2008

An Easy Eight Mile Long Run

This week my long run was 8 miles. Not only did I never think that I could run eight miles I never dreamed that I would think of an eight mile run as EASY!!!

As it turned out it was not as easy as I thought it was going to be. I thought that I was running at a nice easy pace, but the heart rate monitor was telling me otherwise as I was in the 80 to 90% most of the time, when I should have been in the high 70's to low 80's.

I could also tell because my hips and knees were getting a little bit sore near the end and was short of breath more than I should have been. I still picked it up for that last quarter mile or so and finished running as fast as I could. It feels really weird when I try and run as fast as I can. I feel like my form and stride are all out of whack. I am sure that it will get better as I progress

In the end I did the 8 miles at a pace of 10:11 min/mile, which is really good for me. This week had been a lite running week for me and I have to say that it seemed like something was missing, but yet it was nice to have a break. The timing was good as it was also a very busy week at work with the month-end closing and all that going on. I am looking forward to this next week when I am back on my normal running schedule.

May the Force be with you!!!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Another Long Run

Today I completed my 16 mile long run. This is the longest distance that I have run so far. I thought it went very well. I ran a 7+ mile loop twice so that I could swing back by the house and pick up another water. I finished up the last 1.2 mile in front of the house.

This course worked out really well. I was able to complete the run without walking. I was surprised at this as I had to walk a little on my 14 mile long run.

When I got to the end my hips and knees were a little bit sore. The soreness seemed to let up a little while I did my two mile cool down walk.

The 16 miles took me 2 hours and 55 minutes to complete which works out to be about a 10:57 min/mile pace. I went back and compared this to my pace when I did the 14 mile long run and found that I decreased my min/mile by 40 seconds. I was SHOCKED!!!! I certainly did not expect that kind of improvement in two weeks.

I have noticed that I am able to maintain a 10 min/mile pace on my shorter week day runs without much trouble. I looked back at my pace from July and saw that I was running almost 12 min/mile!!!

I hope that I can continue to improve over the next several weeks. I have two more long runs (18 mile and 20 miles)scheduled before the marathon. I hope to continue to see some more improvement.

May the Force be with you!!!


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Country Roads 10K Race

At the last minute I decided to run the Country Roads 10k Race. I had come across the race a few weeks ago and saw that they were giving participants a long sleeve technical shirt. I figure that I will need a long sleeve one before the winter hits so I figured that I might as well do the race. I thought is was a pretty good deal because these shirts can run more than $20 and the race fee was $25.

The race was put on in San Marcos by the San Marcos runners club. The race was about a hour from home. I got there and and got registered. The shirts were red and they also gave you a Fruit Smootie Power Bar.

For the race I was wearing my new Star Wars Jersey, which by the way is awesome!!! Did I mention a HUGE shout out to Primal Wear!!!!! They are awesome!!!

The last race that I did was in August and was on a very hilly course. I had a time of 9:39 min/mile. I was hoping that I go do a little better on this run than on the last one, since it should not be as hilly.

I finished the race in 54:34!!!! This is a pace of about 8:48 min/mile!!! YES!!!

I could not believe that I got under an 9 min mile. I was shocked. I would not call this an easy course by any means. The last two miles were going UP a long shallow graded hill. I just never ended. UGH!!!

Since the last race I had done I have been doing the waterrunning about once per week and I sincerely believe that a large part of the improvement was a result of it.

For me I had a really good time, but I was 13/16 in my age group and 66/136 overall.

This was a really good race to run. In addition to long sleeve technical shirt they had awesome cookies, plenty of fruit and a lot of power bars for after the race. They also had a lot of door prizes. I think that I will do this race again next year!!!

May the Force be with you!!!


Below are the pictures that were taken at the race. I think they were trying to take pictures at the most embarrasing moments. They have definitely succeeded with these!!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Tonights training run called for a one hour run at of moderate pace. So I strapped on the HR monitor and hit the usual route in front of my house. I figured that I would just do six miles and that should be just a little over an hour. I strapped on the Brooks Trance 7's, which have been great shoes but just a little small for the longer runs, and hit the road.

The run went pretty well and I was able to pick up the pace for the last 1 1/2 to 2 miles. When I finished I was surprised to see that my pace was 9:37!!! The hilly race that I did in August I did at a 9:39 pace.

I have been logging my avg heart rate for each of my runs and I compared tonights AHR with similar runs and my HR was actually a little bit lower.

I am glad I found that my HR monitor records the avg HR for each of my runs as I find it really useful to compare to similar runs to determine if my fitness level has improved or maybe I was just working harder than the other runs.

I am really glad to be able to see these improvements. It sure has been encouraging.

May the Force be with you!!!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Post Long Run Training

My knees have been pretty sore/stiff since the long run on Saturday. I changed my schedule around a little because of this. Sundays are rest days, but I was supposed to run on Monday and then cross train on Tuesday. Instead I did my cross training on Monday, which consisted of an abdominal workout and pushups.

On Tuesday I still had some stiffness in my legs so I thought it would be a good opportunity to do the water running again. I have been wanting to do this once a week instead of one of the runs so this was a good opportunity to start.

I took Rachael down to the pool and let her swim and play while I did my version of water running. I did it for 45 minutes and I must admit that the time seems to drag on. I will have to come up with a way to pass the time better. If only I could use the iPod while I was doing this it would make the time go by faster (I think)!!!

I just had an idea. I think I will try and clip the iPod to my headband. I will just have to remember to not go under the water with it on. Worst case I guess would be that I have to shell out $50 for a new one.

If anyone out there has any other ideas let me know.

May the Force be with you!!!


Saturday, September 13, 2008

New Long Run Record - 14 Miles

Today was my long run. I ran 14 miles for the first time. It was tough and I did end up having to walk a little. Especially up the huge hill at the end. Ugh!!!

I added a new route to the run because I didn't really want to be that far from home on the second loop in case something went wrong or I needed water etc. The added route ended up being pretty tough. There were a couple of big hills on the way back and I was out of energy to make it up the hill running so ended up walking a little up the hills at the end.

What was amazing to me was that I continued to improve my pace. When I ran 12.5 miles I was able to keep a pace of 11.58. My pace for today's run was 11:40 min/mile. I figured that my pace would go down as I increased my mileage so I was very surprised. Since I had to do some walking I figured it would have been a bit lower than the other long runs.

Anyway the run went pretty good overall. I used the Margarita shot blocks for this run These were okay, but I didn't think they were that great. I will probably not use them if there is a better choice. I think I need to eat more energy bars or shot blocks on the longer runs, because I felt like I hit the wall on those hills.

I can cross this one of the list. I do 16 miles in two weeks. Can't wait!!!Not.

May the Force be with you!!


Friday, September 12, 2008

SA RNR Marathon Jersey

My friend Sandy from work gave me the Jersey that I order for the Rock and Roll Marathon. It is definitely the perfect Jersey for me. As you will soon see. I am planning in rolling out a poll to get your opinions in the near future.

I have to give a HUGE shout out to PRIMAL WEAR. They donated my jersey and the Jersey's for Sandy's MS 150 bike race team. They are awesome!!! If you need a jersey definitely check out their website and order from them. I am sure that I will order another one at some point in the future.

Without further ado I will unveil the jersey that I will be wearing for the SARNR Marathon. I sure you will agree that it suits me!!!

Make sure you vote in the poll on the right!



Thursday, September 11, 2008


Sorry that I have not done many posts lately, but we have been sidelined by Heros. We have finished season 1 and have three shows left on season 2. We want to get these completed before the new season starts.


Monday, September 8, 2008

The Truth Comes Out

Okay, Okay, Okay....

We didn't really win the trophy that we had our pictures taken with. This fun run is really cool in that they use recycled trophies to give to anyone that completes three races. You get to pick from what is there. So we could have picked this trophy, but thought it was too big and gaudy.

This was a lot better than having to shell out the $20 that I paid for a trophy from my first 10k.

Yes that's right I bought my trophy that didn't get given away to the race winners. I know pathetic, but I wanted something to symbolize my accomplishment of completing the 10k.

May the force be with you!!!


Saturday, September 6, 2008

SARR Fun Run

Arin wanted to try the Fun Run that is put on the first Saturday of the month by the San Antonio Road Runnners. This event consist of the following runs: an 80M kids fun run, 1/2 mile run, 1 mile run, and 3 mile run.

I was not sure what to expect from this event since it was not like a regular race. We didn't get to the Fun Run until late, because we went to the wrong pavilion at the park. Arin was not able to do the 80m run, but we were able to make the rest of the races.

We lined up for the 1/2 mile race and when they blew the whistle Arin took off like a bat out of Haiti. We had not talked about this before had, but I assumed she would want to go at a nice easy pace. WRONG!!! She did pretty well. I was able to catch up and get a picture of her crossing the finish line. She did the 1/2 mile in 4 min and 18 sec.

The 1 mile race she started off slower and she was getting tiered during this one. She was able to complete this race in 12 minutes (WOW). Both of these races she finished with very quick times. I had to hustle to keep up with her.


This is Arin running the 1 mile race - Go Girl Go !!!!

This is me finishing the 3 mile race. I made it under 9min/mile.

This is the Trophy that Arin won for doing the Fun Runs.

This is the Trophy that I won for running in the Fun Run!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Running with ......

No it's not scissors!!! One of the positive aspects of running that I did not anticipate was that Arin would want to do some running with me. I don't recall exactly how it started, but usually once or twice a week we will go out for a quick run. We will usually run for 1 to miles and alternate between running and walking. Sometimes we will go for a bike ride around the neighborhood after the run.

We have only been running a handful of times, but I already can notice a difference in how far she can run without walking.

I am glad that she is enjoying this and hopefully this will help her to include regular exercise into her life.

There is a Kids Fun run that the local running group is putting on this weekend that Arin and I are thinking of going to. I will have more on the fun run in the next post.

May the force be with you!!!


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Water Running - September 1st

I was listening to the Running Ramblings podcasts. Martin(the podcaster) introduced me to water running. Water running is (as you would expect) when you run while in the water. There are a couple of ways that you can do this. One way is that you can actually run through the water across the pool. You can also run in place. Typically when you would run in place you would also use a flotation belt. With the belt on you would go to the deep end of the pool and move your legs in the motion that you would while running.

This may sound interesting to some but just plain weird to others. Some of you are probably asking why would anyone want to do this? One of the problem that runners have (from what I read) is that impact from running makes them very injury prone. Most injuries are healed by reducing or discontinuing running. The problem is that when you stop running you rapidly lose your fitness level. I have read that some athletes have turned to water running to continue their training while injured. One story I read told how this one lady went on to set a personal record after she trained with water running.

Any how I thought that is may be a good idea if I try to replace one of my runs with water running, which would reduce some of the impact and hopefully reduce the chance or severity of any injuries. Any additional fitness gains would be a bonus.

Today was my first attempt at water running. I started out by running across the pool. Although this worked okay it was kind of a pain. Since I didn't have flotation device I tried a couple of different attempts of running in place and actually found that if I lean back a little into the water and put my legs out in front a little bit, I can kind of simulate the running movement in my legs.

I did this for about 45 minutes and overall I thought this was pretty good workout. Even though this is a pretty boring exercise I think I will try to replace one of my runs each week with water running.

May the Force be with you!!!


August 30th, 2008 - 12 miles - DONE

Well I have completed my longest run today. I did 12.5 miles on Aug 30th and I was able to get under the 12 min/mile pace. For the most part the run felt pretty good. My hips were a little bit sore after the run, but I think they felt better than when I did the 10 mile run.

This was the first run that I did with the new shoes. Overall, I think they worked pretty well. My only concern is that they feel a little too small in the area around the toes. I had some minor pain in my right big toe, but I am hoping that they will feel better as they get broken in.

I did not get any blister on my toes this run (I had been getting blisters on my long runs). I had stopped at Run Gear Run store earlier this week and they had recommended this body glide that you put on areas that you get blisters or chafing and it is supposed to help. So I applied the body glide to the toe that I had been getting the blisters and there were no issues. I also used it on my chest and did not have any problems with chafing or bleeding from the sensitive areas that are prone to such problems.

While I was at the running store I picked up a couple of packages of Cliff Shot Blocks. These are gel blocks that you eat while your running so that you replenish your carbohydrates while you run. These are similar to the gels that I sampled at the last race. I tried the Black Cherry flavored Shot Blocks on this run and I thought they were very good. I have Margarita flavored shot blocks to try on the next long run!!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

New Shoes!!!

Since I started running in June I have been using a couple of pairs of Reebok athletic shoes that I got from Sam's Club. I started running in the one pair that I had been walking in and my left heel started to hurt a little. I switched to the newer pair of shoes that I kept at work for walking. I had been running in those for several weeks and had not had any real issues with this pair (my heal still hurt a little, but it got a little better when I changed shoes).

I knew that I needed to get a pair of true "running" shoes especially as I start to run longer distances. I started looking around at the different running shoes and trying them on, but nothing really "fit like a glove". I even went to a local running store that had a Mizuno truck there doing some advanced analysis that would tell me the type of shoe that I needed. Their shoes were okay, but I was not sure about the Mizuno brand. The analysis was helpful and I got to try on some more shoes both Mizuno and some other brands that the running store sells. I also got a free technical shirt and the store was doing a free BBQ. They were even serving free beer!!! I tried on the Brooks Trance 8 shoe and that felt about the best of the ones that I had tried so far.

I had a gift card for Footlocker that I had redeemed from the points that we had accumulated with the gas card so I looked on their website. I found that they had the Brooks Trance 7 (last year’s model) on sale. After much contemplation I decided to try them. I received the shoes about a week later and found that they had shipped me the 12D (medium width) instead of the regular 12. I went ahead and tried them on and they fit great!!! I was very pleased and eager to try them out. Lucky for me I had my weekly long run (this week is 12 miles) scheduled for the next morning!!!!

Music or Podcast Sugestions

If any one out there has any good suggestions for good running music that I can listen to while running or podcasts, then let me know. I am probably set for a while but I am always looking for something new!!!

iPod Awakening

As some of you know I have never really been all that fond of music and listening to music. It is not that I don’t like music. It is more that I think of it as a background to everything else. I have never really been into listening to cd’s or mp3 players, but would listen to music while in the car. Well now that I have a lot of solitude on my hands as I run for 45 minutes to an hour 3 days a week and a couple of hours on Saturday I have started to listen to music and podcasts frequently.

Back in June Josh had bought me an iPod shuffle for my birthday. I must say that this was a most excellent gift as I am now using it almost everyday of the week. Getting this iPod of course required me to download iTunes and start loading my music and cd’s into the computer so that I can load up the iPod with songs and podcasts to listen too.

I started listening to the Ipod while running and had put on some really sweet tunes like Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, Dierks Bentley “What was I Thinkin’”, Van Halen, and Damn Yankees to name a few.

As I started reading more about running and visiting website I found out about running podcasts. I have found several podcasts that are about running that are interesting to listen to while running. As some of these podcasts have been going on for some time I have been listening to the past episodes. There are a lot of other interesting podcasts out there on a variety of topics and best of all the majority of them are free, which fits my budget!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

It's Race Day!!!

Saturday August 23, 2008
Today is the Fleet Feet Sunrise 10K race. I am running this race with Steve, a friend of mine that I started working with when I moved to San Antonio. I was running late getting to the race as I had decided to drop some stuff off to Josh (my son) at Trinity and had to load up the van before I left. I met up with Steve at the race and picked up the T-shirt and race bib. They delayed the race 10 minutes so I was able to drop the shirt off at the car before the race. It had rained over night and the road was wet, which made for a slightly slippery road.

The race start was near the Alamo Heights pool and the course was very hilly. I do my long training run on a route that has several hills, but this course had a lot of hills on it. They just seemed to never end. I felt I did very well on the hills. I may have slowed down on them but I kept up a good pace. I am not sure if it was the hills or not, but it seemed like the mile markers were more than a mile apart.

All in all it was a good race. I was able to complete the 10k race in one hour and 1 second for a 9:39minutes/mile pace, which is a new personal record for me. Yeah ME!!! I was really surprised especially after my 10:06 pace on the Wednesday run and the added hills.

The only issues that I had were a couple of blisters that I have on my toes. The rest of my feet, legs, and knees felt good.

Hammer Nutrition was a sponsor for the race and they had a booth set up at the race area so I was able to try about 8 different flavors of their gels. I though they all tasted pretty good, but made my mouth feel thick like when you eat peanut butter. I am not sure that I would be able to use these in a race unless I had something that I could drink.

View my race results at the following website -

About Me….

My name is Chad. I have lived in San Antonio for about 2 years and I am training to participate in the San Antonio Marathon. This will be my first Marathon and I started running in June 2008. Prior to this I had done very little running. In fact before June I would have never considered running a Marathon. I am currently weighing around 195 lbs, but a year ago I weighed about 335 lbs.

Yes that is a 140 lbs less!!!!

My weight loss journey began in June 2007. It started when I began researching weight loss surgery. I was on a very dismal path. My weight had been increasing over the past several years; I was on blood pressure medicine and cholesterol medicine. I really felt like things were going the wrong way and before long I would have diabetes as well as a shortened lifespan.

While researching weight loss surgery and going through the process to get approved I began walking over my lunch break and I went on a liquid protein diet. From July to October I was able to lose 45 lbs on my own. I had Gastric Bypass surgery in October 2007 and have done very well. By June 2008 I was down to around 195 so I had almost lost 100 lbs since surgery.

I was still walking, but didn’t feel that I was getting much benefit from walks so I started jogging a little bit to try and increase my heart rate and get more out of my walks. In June 2008 I was reading the newspaper and came across an article about an upcoming 10k race on June 14. I though to myself “maybe I should try that I am walking over half of that distance at lunch”. Then I cam across it again a few days later and I knew that I was supposed to run that race.

Earlier in the year my friend Gil from Detroit had called and wanted me to participate with him in the San Antonio Rock and Roll marathon. I had agreed thinking that I would walk a 5k or 10k part of the marathon (I later found out there is only the ½ and full marathon).

After running my first 10k in June I was hooked and have been running regularly ever since.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday August 20, 2008

I have been training for the San Antonio Marathon since the beginning of July 2008 when I found a free training plan on the SA Rock and Roll Marathon Website. The plan is set up through website. I log into my account and it tells me how far or long I am supposed to run each day and what the tempo is supposed to be.

After I complete my workouts I log the results on the website. I have been comparing my workouts to the preivous weeks to see if there has been any improvement in the length or pace. I have started to record the average heart rate from the run as I think it will be a better comparison as to how well I am doing.

This Saturday I have the Fleet Feet Sunrise 10k race so I thought that I would try and run it a little harder to see what kind of a pace I could maintain. I did the five miles in just over 50 minutes, which was a pace of 10:06 minutes/mile and I was dying after the five miles and there is no way that I will be able to beat my 10 min/mile goal for the race especially if it has a bunch of hills.