Thursday, August 31, 2006

I Dream of Cycling

It's been almost a year since I put the bikes on the racks in the garage ceiling. Well, I put them there, took them down, and put them back up, after #2 decided to tear mine up :-) So I pulled the old boyz and galz down off the ceiling to see what kind of shape they are in. For my cross training, I dream of cycling.

The news ain't good. #1's bike has a flat tire. #2's bike is servicable, but the gears don't shift.

"Not to worry!" says #2. "I don't need to shift gears!"

Dee Dee's bike is in pristine condition.

My bike. Hmmmmm. Seems #2 was throwing it down on the ground after he rode it and the seat has developed a few blisters. The bad news? He's bent the gadget at the bottom of the gears, and the bike will NOT ride.

OK. Now I'm presented with a technical challenge, as I like to call them. I can take the bike to the shop and get it fixed. I can fix it myself (I am mechanically impaired), or, I can spend $100.00 and get me a cheapo bike from Toy's R Us :-) I can also try to find a decent bike at a garage sale or something. Decisions, decisions, decisions. This bike would not be the bike of choice when I become a triathelete in 2008. This one just needs to last me till next year. I'll have to mull this one over the weekend and see what the boss has to say!

Feelin mighty fine today. As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm recovering very fast now. All body parts are checking out A-OK. I've got thirty minutes of runnning and 4 hills on tap for today, but I may turn this into one of my "fun" runs, where I just run as long as I want. Somehow, they always seem to elongate into 4-5 mile runs when I'm feelin good!

17 Days until race day! I've bought a new shade of lipstick just for Regan to use during the Hot Lips Hustle 5K :-) I'm going to give it to people to kiss my buttocks as I run past them! Just kiddin folks! Y'all know me better than that! I'll be encouraging everyone!!! Extensively!! I had a young lady come hauling butt past me Tuesday night at 9:30 PM, and I am still delighted and awed to be in the company of other runners, of all shapes, sizes, and ability. It's a Wes thing...

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: Rest (Matthew's 11th Birthday!!)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Say What? Its Decided. ORP.

I want to apologize in advance for this long post. My mouth runneth over. There are three things I want to talk about today. So, if you are short on time, or got somethin better to do, come back later :-) And don't say when do I not run at the mouth!!

Say What?

I'm driving home in the car yesterday listening to Star 94. People write in and ask for advice on certain issues. Normally, I barely listen. But today's show dealt with a triathlete that was raising money for charity, and one of her co-workers didn't know how to deal with the "pressure" and "expectations" of donating to this young lady's endeavor. It was obvious, to me at least, that this person was just uncomfortabe saying no in an honorable and empathetic manner, and she was casting her personal inadequacies on the triathelete. I mean, come'on. If this triathlete is generous and caring enough to give of her time and effort for charity, how could she possibly be let down by a friend or co-worker saying no. The triathlete just wasn't getting any credit for being a good person. That's my editorial for the day. As in all editorials, this is my opinion and soley my opinion and not that of Blogger, A Code Geek's Tail or any other terrorist organization.

It's Decided

Moving on. I luv active.com. Did I mention that already. After my post yesterday, I was browsing the races through early 2007 when I came across the ING Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon. The timing couldn't be more perfect. It fits into my plan, my expectations, and it JUST FEELS RIGHT. Therefore, I've already signed up for the race. It's in March of 2007, and I'm going to do a 10K in October. Issue settled.

Obligatory Running Paragraph(s)

My six miles went strong. I am recovering so much faster now from running and reffing. I felt good, strong, and healthy. Here are my estimated splits (estimated because I didn't track them exactly, but good enough):

1. 13:30
2. 12:30
3. 13:00
4. 13:20
5. 9:40
6. 12:00

Check out that mile 5 split. I have no idea what happened, but I was feelin it! My legs felt lite. They were practically running themselves. I was doing body scans, scanning for rapid breath and excessive heart rate, soreness, and everything was sweet. The only reason my 6th mile split was so long was because I had to spend 4 minutes walking up Mount Doom and Ass-Kicker. All in all, a good run, I think, and I'm happy to get my first 6 miler out of the way.

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 6 miles, 74 minutes, 12:30 pace (normal), Run 9/Walk 1

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

All Options are Open

Thanks for the feedback regarding my race choices for the rest of the year. To recap, I have on tap:
  1. The Hot Lips Hustle 5K (09/16/06)
  2. Thanks4giving 5K (11/23/06)
  3. Chattahoochee Challenge 10K (02/10/07)
I have basically decided to leave my options open as far as the half marathon goes. I have targeted a couple of 10Ks for late October/November that I can do instead. Depending on how I feel, I will make my decision by October 6th.

Part of the reason for this decision is because I went back last night and reviewed my 52 week training plan. It calls for a 10K around week 18, then a half marathon around week 33. There has to be a logical reason why the half marathon is twice as long as the 10K. I, in truth, have no intention of racing the half marathon, if I decide to do it. I just want to have fun and finish. Regardless, I have two 10Ks picked out to take its place: The Calloway Garden 10K, and the Alpharetta Half Marathon and 10K, both of which are in late October/early November.

I like all these plans! Keeps me excited!

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: Got six miles on tap tonight!!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ain't Skairt

Trying to be true to form, I am permeating my blog with my Southern accent. What Southern accent you ask? Well, I ask myself that same question. Oh, I can recognize an accent when I meet people from Minnesota and New York. But on one of my few visits to California, I was told by several people that I have a "lovely" Southern accent. I'm like, "What accent?" :-) I certainly didn't recognize an accent from the lovely people in T.V. land. Oh well, I digress...

Dee Dee and I received a flyer in the mail, and we are now officially doing the "Hot Lips Hustle 5K" instead of the "Run for Research 5K" on September 16th. This particular run benefits children with cleft palettes. It is much closer to home, thus maximizing the probability that it won't interfere with soccer, and finally, the description describes the route as "very flat". I mean, come on folks! How can you argue with a description like that?

Now for the potentially exciting part. I was already aware that Atlanta has a tri club. So, I'm surfing their web site and I saw they were advertising a half-marathon in November. I thought to myself, "Cool! I can do that!" This lead me to active.com, and I saw all the wonderful races they had there. One in particular caught my eye, "The Silver Comet Trail Half-Marathon". The organizers of this race say that if you can walk 17 minute miles, then this race is the one for you! I'm psyched! I think I can do this. Given that I am a brand new runner, and that I have a 5K in September, do you think I can handle it? I value all my blogger friends opinions, so lemme know.

I listened to a very inspirational message from Iron Wil over at Through Th3 Wall. Wil puts out a podcast called, "Get Your Geek On (GYGO)". Seems a man in New York was inspired by Wil, and he lost 70 pounds (240 to 170) by running. Yea, Baby! I'm all over that!

Alrighty then, I'm off to plan a six mile route for tomorrow. For now, my long run will have to remain on Tuesdays...

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN (Obligatory Running Note): Rest

Sunday, August 27, 2006

NASA Classic

Had a great day Saturday. My first game was at 8 AM in the morning. I had been assigned to the U-17 boys division. We played thiry-five minute halves. My second game was a line. My third a center, and my fourth a line. I'm happy to report that four U-17 games is about my limit. It was hot, but not as hot as last weekend. I stayed fully hydrated, thanks to the plentiful water that was available to the referees, and by the end of the day, I could more than feel the tiredness in my leg.

As is my usual wont after a hard day of soccer, I took the family out to eat dinner. Plus, I owed a meal to my daughter, who was kind enough to pick up #1 and bring him to his last game, thus allowing me to referee uninterrupted. The decision was made and we mosied on over to our favorite Japanese restaurant. Everyone ate well. The food was good. The company was delightful. I personally ate about half of my dinner, and I only had two and half drinks. This is very significant for me. I used to eat everything on my plate, have three drinks, then stop at the liquor store on the way home. Never mind what time I had to get up on Sunday OR what soccer games I had to ref.

I went with Dee Dee and #2 to his soccer game Sunday morning. Again, we were up bright and early. We had to be there by 9:30 AM. #2 had a great time. He really enjoyed himself, and we enjoyed watching him. On the way back, the assignor called and yelled, "Help!" Seems he needed me to help him with some games at #1's fields. I assured him I would be there soon, and if he needed help, I would be glad to oblige him. As a referee, it is always advisable to keep your assignor happy! The game he wanted me to do was at the same time as #1's game. When I arrived at the fields, the field marshall had already taken care of the game. Yes! I got to watch #1's game after all.

When Dee Dee and I got home, she wanted to go for a run. Despite my sore legs, I offered to run with her, and I did! Since I was the sore one, I let her set the pace, and I fell in behind her. We did two loops around the 1 mile route. At that point, Dee Dee was tired, so I continued on around for another loop, and Dee Dee added another half mile by running to the front of the neighborhood and back. It was a good run, nice, slow, and needed. I never got out of breath, and my sore muscles actually enjoyed the activity. When I got done, I actually felt refreshed. This was definitely a busy, active weekend, but very satisfying, indeed!

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 42 minutes, 3 miles, recovery pace, walk as needed

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Another Late Night

Didn't get to eat till 11:00 PM. Did I just admit that? Maybe I need to shut the window a lil bit? Are chicken fingers with Buffalo sauce pure protein? Or does the crunchy outer layer count as carbohydrates? Oh well, I could only eat 3 of the five I brought home. I just didn't have much of an appetite. I'm sure I had another sub-2000 calorie day today. Unintentional of course.

Tomorrow: soccer, soccer, and more soccer.

Peace out!

Wes

Friday, August 25, 2006

Thou shall not Succumb

I yawn. It's time for a cup of coffee. I wonder to myself how coffee affects me as a runner. Galloway's book recommends a cup of coffee in the morning before a race. It helps jump start your system, he says. I typically drink 1 to 2 cups of coffee a day, with one Land'O'Lakes Mini Moo creamer and Splenda. I had to totally cut sugar out of my coffee as it was making my acid reflux go crazy. I know, I know. Coffee is very acidic, but somethings in life I can't give up completely, so I'm focusing on moderation.

I try not to stumble as I walk down the stairs into the Den of Inequity. My legs are a little tired from my run last night. I approach the coffee machine.

Hey, big boy!

Me: Ummmmm. Who is that?

I've missed you since yesterday.

Me: Errrrr. OK.

Don't you want me?

Me: Ahhhh! It's the damn snack machine!

You know under this 1980's rough exterior, I'm all soft and delicate inside, full of yummy prizes.

Me: Ahhhh, no.

I've got chips, candy, and your favorite, Honey Buns!!!

Me: Don't tempt me, demoness. If I partake of your offerings, Neese is going to call the West Coast gals and form an intervention team.

I can be your, "Dirty little secret!"

Me: LOL. There are no secrets. My blog is a window into my soul, and my eyes are blue :-) Besides, I already had a bagel with two tablespoons of cream cheese.

You don't love me anymore!

Me: But I do... It's just I have some goals to meet, and my mind is in control right now. I'm sure I'll cave in soon...

(exit to the sound of crying)

Boy was I tired on my run last night. It was apparent in the first 10 minutes or so that my legs were tired. Last night was the first time I ran on grass too. I ran at the soccer fields, so the route was uneven, hard in some places, and wet and spongy in others. It was very different from my normal run. I personally thought it was harder to run in the spongy grass. Since I didn't have any mile markers to go by, I ran for 30 minutes, followed by a two minute warm down. I then spent ten to fifteen minutes in the goal being shot on by #2.

I'm seriously thinking about moving my long run to Thursdays during soccer season. This will allow me to run harder on Tuesday.

Finish Strong!

Wes

ORN: 30 minutes, 12 minutes miles (I'm guessing), 2.5 miles, R4/W1, normal pace. Average Heart Rate 155.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Counting Calories

Yesterday was such a bummer, I didn't get to eat lunch. I started off my day with two, count'em, two chocolate glazed donuts from from Dunkin Donuts. Now, Calorie Count has each one of these buggers listed at 120 calories. That's fine with me, but I think its a little low. So I'm going to count them at 150 each. Fast forward to dinner. I had some wings at the restaurant, and those are listed at about 100 calories each. I had 10 plus some blue cheese putting me at 1100 calories for dinner. Oh, forgot about the beer. Good thing Guiness is only 90 calories! Unless of course you drink it in an Imperial Pint, in which case it is probably like 150. Regardless, I did good yesterday, quite by accident, well below my 2800 calorie a day limit, LOL.

This morning, I thought I would get off just eating two bananas for breakfast. The bananas are starting to turn a little black, and I didn't want them to go to waste. Each one is listed at 118 calories. Unfortunately, that only lasted me until around 10 AM, when I promptly hit the snack machine for a 550 calorie honey bun :-) There ya go, an 800 calorie breakfast. Toss in my tuna sandwhich from Subway and a bag of chips, and I'm pushing 1400 calories for the day already. Not too bad, overall I think. I weighed in at 215 this morning. The missing body part has not grown back yet.

So what's up with all these space heads getting together and dissing Pluto? I think that if people have this kind of time to waste on stupid stuff, they need to be running. Just sayin!

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: TBD

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Better Late than Never

Admit it! You missed me! Now, you just gotta know I wouldn't leave my readers without a blog entry, LOL! It has been a STRANGE twenty four hours. #2's practice got cancelled last night, so I picked him and #1 up at the high school. #1 is the official freshman place kicker and backup tail back. God help us all :-) I guess all that soccer has come in handy for football.

I decided to make a new recipe for dinner. You don't know how excited this makes my boys. They roll their eyes and hope that what I make is digestable. *chuckle*. I saw something interesting in my emails that I wanted to try. The recipe is called Shredded Chicken and Corn Tostadas. I make a trip to Publix to get all the ingredients. I also decided to make Spanish Rice as well. To make a long story short, I managed to burn the tostadas in the oven, and I forgot about the rice as well. The bottom was burned, and I made it worse when I stirred it up, rather than leaving the good rice on the top *sigh*. Practice makes perfect! For the rice, the third time is a charm, ROFL.

At 8:30 PM, I managed to get out on my run. I had told myself that this was going to be a fun run. I had worked hard this past weekend at the soccer tournament, and I was a bit sore. I started out my run with a walk 1/run 1 cycle. I executed this two times, then I did walk 1/run 2. By that time, I was feeling pretty comfortable. As I hit the downslope of Mount Doom, I settled into a Run 4/Walk 1, which I maintained for the rest of the run. I felt strong. I guess running on the soccer field is a little different exercise. My hips felt good. My achilles tendon was mostly OK. I felt strong! Strong enough, as a matter of fact, to go ahead and add the extra mile into my long run. I did 5.4 miles last night. I'm proud of myself, this day.

Unfortunately, I had a crap day at work today, thus the late blog posting. I had to make a difficult decision, as I was being torn in a couple of different directions. I did what I felt was right, but the fall out won't occur for a couple of days now. We'll see what happens. I was just so pre-occupied today that I felt like I didn't get anything constructive done, and I hate that. The good news that I had a great night at the restaurant. We are starting to kick bootay. The hard work is starting to pay off in increased sales and customer satisfaction. Kudos to the boss, Dee Dee, for doing such a fantastic job.

Looking forward to tomorrow, I have a short run planned. This seems appropriate since I worked hard this weekend and got in my 5+ miles. I have 4 hills to do tomorrow, and I will get those in as well. This weekends is the NASA Classic. We have over 300 teams in this tournament. My schedule calls for four games, and I managed to get my breaks in so I can see #1 play his games. Alrighty then... I'm off to spend some quality time with the boss. She's collecting interest while I'm over here blogging away on the old laptop. Y'all be good!

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 5.4 miles, 108 minutes, endurance/normal pace, 13 minute miles, average heart rate 151, R4/W1

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Reminiscing and Research

Often times, during the day, I find myself thinking back to the glory days, when school and sports ruled my young life. There was the football championship in eight grade. There was the humbling experience of NEVER playing for a winning baseball team from 12 years to 15 years of age. There was the year of running cross country, where I turned in a mile in 5:55 and a two miler in 10:55 seconds. In 1984, I joined the Army and spent two years in Germany. We ran 5 days a week, with long runs on Friday. More often than not, I did the "long run" still intoxicated from the previous night. I grimace now to think of how abusive I was to my own body. After discharge from the Army in 1988, sports and physical activity basically disappeared from my life. My focus shifted to college, marriage, and work. Shortly after Dee Dee and I got married, I began to experience the "Lazy Leg Syndrome". The muscles in my thigh would twinge like they had received an electric shock. This was not fun. After a couple of years of this, the feelings went away.

So what does all this have to do with running, you ask? Well, a couple of things. First and foremost, I can feel the hardness and the new definition in my thigh muscles, and it reminds of those days when I ran and those days when the LLS drove me crazy, Second, I have to remind myself every so often of why I am doing this. Oh yea, the thought that this is a mid life crisis frequently crosses my mind. I am emphatic that I am tired of being fat. I want to be healthier. I want to lose weight, and I want to take better care of myself. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Which leads me on to my next topic: dieting. Most of the folks I blog with are watching what they eat in some form or another. I have just started researching my diet. I used a tool on the internet, and it says that in order for me to reach 185 lbs in 11 months, I need to consume 2800 calories a day. That's with moderate activity. It also says I can safely loose 1-2 lbs a week. H-O-L-Y CRAP. I think I'd be embarrased if I ate that much now, never mind the moderate activity. You guys feel free to chime in with some advice here, and I'll be back with more info later as my research starts to gel. I think something between 2K and 2.4K calories a day is about right.

I have come to a decision that I am going to start running in the morning, inspired by Aleks and Jessica out in Seattle, Washington, some of my West Coast Gals! This will be my last week of running in the evening, so 5 AM here I come. I am currently getting up at 5:45, and with no alcohol and plenty of coffee, I seem to be handling it fine.

I think I'm gonna have another fun run today. I'm a little sore from this weekend, but I'm not getting in my long run on the weekend. We'll see. I'll make that decision after I get out on the road. Y'all have a great day!

Finish strong,

Wes

Monday, August 21, 2006

Barefoot Cross Training

I almost talked myself into going for a bike ride tonight with #2. Unfortunately, I'm cooking a big pot of Texas Chilli, and it took a bit longer than I thought. Cutting up 5 pounds of Chuck Roast into 1/2 inch cubes takes a long time!

#2 asked me to play basketball and I agreed. I went outside and played him in my bare feet, and the little bugger almost beat me, LOL. After a hotly contested match, I ended up winning 10-8.

I'm real proud of Matthew. He's getting much better at shooting the ball. Now, if I could just get him to stop using both his hands to dribble....

Wes

An Open Letter to My Son

My youngest son, Matthew, asked me to blog about him. Here is my best effort, a tribute of sorts, from a father to his son:

Dear Matthew:

I remember the day your were born like it was yesterday. Mom and I showed up at the hospital at the appointed time. Your Mom has never been able to birth babies naturally, so her sacrifices, and mine, started for you at the earliest possible moment. Unlike your older brother, this time I wasn't scared. I knew what to expect. We went into the operating room at 9 AM, and by 9:20, we welcomed you into this world. Incidently, this is almost the exact same minute of the day we welcomed your older brother into the world as well.

I tell this story often, and it still brings chuckles to this day. I made no secret of my desire for a daughter. When your brother was born, I was like, "Yea! He's got a weenie!" When you were born, I was like, "Doh! He's got a weenie!" Somehow, deep in my heart, I knew that God was going to curse me with another son, and nothing has made me happier in this world.

I watched you grow up. I saw you take your first steps. I listened to you as your learned your first words. I laughed when you bopped your brother up side his head with a toy, while he was playing video games. Karma! Big brother used to bop his sister up side the head too! I watched you grow from a vulnerable pooping and up chucking baby into the world's most beautiful boy. I was there when you smashed your two new front teeth on the bed. I was there when you first went to school. I was your coach when you started playing soccer. I was there.

When you came to me and said, "Dad, I'm going for a run around the soccer fields.", I wasn't angry at you when you didn't come back. Oh sure, I was angry, but it was hiding the fact that I was scared. So scared of anything happening to my second son. When I found you and told you to go get your ball and meet me at the bridge, I wasn't angry at you when I couldn't find you. I was angry, Matthew, but I was hiding the fact that I was scared. Twice in one night. When you finally found me, I wouldn't let you cry on my shoulder. I didn't do this because I was angry at you Matthew. I did this because I was scared, and you needed to be scared too, and you needed to recover on your own and grow up a little bit that day.

As the second son of a second son, Matthew you share my middle name. There is a special bond between you and I. This is a bond that no one else on the planet shares. The thought of something happening to you is unfathomable to me. I am truly sorry for being angry.

I know at 10 tender years of age you don't understand. You'll never truly understand until you have children of your own. You have no idea how proud I am of you. How much I love you. And the greatest gift? You don't have to do anything at all. Just being here is more than I can ask for...

Love,

Dad

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Tourney Day 2

Hot. Dirty. Stinky. Tired. Hungry. Smugly satisfied.

Today was a bit of an easier day, as far as refereeing goes. I got to do the younger kids, 13, 14, and my center was U-15 girls. Don't let the young age fool ya. These kids are fast, and they are full of boundless energy, even after playing two games yesterday.

I was on the upper field today. No shade, no breeze, and by the time my second game arrived, the heat was miserable. I fondly remember my first tournament I ever did. It was this same tournament. I was excited. I did seven games the first day, and six the second. After doing six games all weekend, I look back now and ask, "What the hell was I thinking?" Regardless, if I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't do it. The kids were great. The parents were great, for the most part, and I had a good time. The only thing I regret is that these tournaments take me away from my wife Dee Dee, and my family, and I feel like I don't get anything done over the weekend. I suffer a bit from the blues.

I have some adjustments to make in my running schedule. Next weekend is the tournament sponsored by my sons' club. That means Dee Dee and I will be split between the boys at two different parks. The assignor called, and I've signed myself up for six games in one day. Somebody slap me. I did this because I won't get to do any games Sunday, as I will be off with #2 at his tournament site, which isn't administered by my club's assignor. The weekend after that is Atlanta Cup. Over 600 teams come to Atlanta for this one. I'll be down in Fayetteville, refing the big boys. I had a great time last year. I'm looking forward to it this year. Unfortunately, it doesn't leave any time for planned training.

I feel pretty good today. My muscles aren't too sore, but I decided that I wouldn't try to run today. I took a nap instead :-) I think I'll be well enough to get my run in Tuesday, and I am so looking forward to it.

I've got something special planned for tomorrow. Y'all come back and see me.

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: Lots of refing soccer. We'll call it Cross-Training :-)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Tourney Day 1

Hot. Dirty. Stinky. Tired. Hungry.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I'm Changing

I can start to feel it now. At first, it was the tightness in the calves, and the muscles in the thighs are starting to get well defined. Today, as I looked in the mirror, I realized that my stomach hung just a little bit less over the ole belt and my upper body is becomming more refined.

When I sit down to eat now, I always ask myself, "Exactly what is this going to do to me?" I'm gonna run no matter what, and I don't like that feeling of being stuffed when I'm out for a run. I've been working hard, and I don't want to ruin all this hard work by being foolish. Food is fuel. Fuel is running. I can't just sit down and eat anymore until I'm full. I find myself eating just enough now to help me make it through to the next meal. This is quite an attitude adjustment for me. I think I like it. I FEEL better.

Running this weekend is starting to get really iffy. I didn't realize it, but the GFC Invitational Tournament is this weekend, and I've managed to sign myself up for six games so far. Three of the games are centers, and two of those are U-19 boys. That pretty much gaurantees me 160 minutes of running on Saturday, although not continuous, truly. If I have anything left after Sunday's games, I still plan to go to the track and do my test. If not, then it will have to wait until Tuesday.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Shout out to my West Coast Gals!

Finish strong, y'all!

Wes

ORN: Rest

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I needed to KNOW

I don't care what your time is. No. Not true. I do care about all my friends. That's one of the things I luv about my blog, and yours. I can care as much or as little as I want to, and there is no pressure, no repercusions, nobody to answer to, but me. I don't care how your time compares to mine. I want you to do your best. I want to do my best.

As of yesterday, I had pretty much given up hope that I would be able to run, but the planets aligned! I have a wonderful young lady at the restaurant who has stepped up as a first key. She has a great attitude, great work ethic. She is truly a blessing. I was able to get out of the store at 8:30 PM, which normally would have put me home around 9 PM. Which, as you know, is my normal running time.

On the way home, my phone rings. It's Dee Dee. The four hounds have not been fed all day and we need dog food. Crap! Gotta run by the store and get food for the munchkins. This pushes my time back another thirty minutes.

At home, I'm lacing up the twin wonders, and Dee Dee is sitting on the couch eating a Krystal. Hmmmmm. So much for her going out with me. That would be an extremely bad idea at this point. I gave her a kiss and headed out to the loop by myself.

I had decided before hand that today was going to be different. I was going to test myself. I NEEDED TO KNOW. I've been working hard. I had increased my mileage, worked out diligently. I wanted to know where I was at.

After clicking the start button on my heart rate monitor/watch, I took off. Way to fast, by the way. Shortly after starting, my left shin began to throb. Eventually my whole left leg tingled. I focused hard and tried to relax my lower body. I was determined, and I gritted through it. Here are my splits:

1: 9:58
2: 11:00
3: 11:50

This gave me an average time of 10:40, around 10% off my previous best three miles of 36 something. I am extremly pleased with this. I am also not very happy about a couple of things.

1. I have NO IDEA what my race pace is.
2. I walked way too much.
3. Don't like positive splits

I would rather not walk and run slower and have the same time!

When I got on the scales this morning, I weighed in at 216. WTF?!?!? Yesterday I weighed in at 219. I briefly pondered walking along the loop and looking for the body part that fell off. I decided not to. It has to be water weight or something, cause nobody loses three pounds overnight.

My 5k is less than a month away now. My goal of finishing in sub-30 is within sight, I think. But I won't be doing any three mile tempo runs anytime soon. Due to my working Friday, the next day I can run will be Saturday or Sunday. I plan to do three miles with a 1 mile "test" thrown in there somewhere. We'll see!

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 3 miles, 31:48, tempo run, walked as needed.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Important Announcement

I have an important announcement. My shoes have officially reached 1/10th of their life expectancy. Why is this important you ask? Lemme tell ya:
  • I never imagined that I would own a pair of shoes just for running
  • I never imagined that even if I did, I would actually wear them out!
Seems like this isn't a good week to try and get in four days of running. I have to work on Wednesday and Friday at the restaurants, and both of these days were days that I had scheduled for running. Oh well. I'll just make an adjustment back to a three day schedule this week, and next week I'll do four days when my normal life doesn't interfere. Now how easy is that?

I have come to the realization that my shoes are rubbing against my achilles tendon all day. This is part of the reason why they hurt. It's time to ditch the loafers and get something with a softer heel.

THIS JUST IN:

My fat wallet is contributing to the soreness of my right buttock, LOL. What is it the Chi Running book says about good posture? Jeez. By the way, my wallet is made out of cork! Do a Google on Pelcor. This stuff is amazing. Soft. Tough. Pliable. I can't wait to throw it in the lake and see if it floats :-)

Have a great day, y'all! Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: Rest (due to circumstances beyond my control, or poor planning, whatever!)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I am (having fun). R U?

Mr. Mom. In my family it is a badge of honor. It imposes no less dignity than the 60 to 70 hours per week that Dee Dee puts in at the restaurant. It has been two years now, and she has yet to draw a paycheck. We have hope for the future, and we work as a team. While she holds down the fort at the shops, I in turn work my job, drive the kids to soccer practice, cook for them, wash clothes, yada, yada, yada... Somewhere in there I find time to run.

Now that #1 son has started high school this week, Dee Dee is going to take Mondays off. I thought this was a great idea. #1 has to be at soccer practice at 5:30 PM, and it just isn't possible for me to get home, get him, and get back to soccer practice on time. It takes me over an hour to get home in Hotlanta traffic.

So, yesterday, I stopped by the soccer fields around five o'clock to pick up #2 son. He and #1 were out on the soccer field kicking the ball. #2 was kicking the ball from about 10 yards outside the 18 yard box, and he was kicking it with such force, and not an ounce of spin on it either. This makes the ball wobble as it heads towards the goal. The wobble has the added effect of confusing the keeper. I was so proud of him. I thought that when I got home, I would go ahead and get in my fun run before dinner. But Noooooo! #2 wanted to play basketball before dinner, and who was I to tell him no. I spent the first two hours of my time at home playing basketball and feeding him the dinner my wife so thoughtfully left in the oven.

Around 7 PM Dee Dee called and let me know she was on her way back from the park. She wanted to run with me since I had not gone out yet. I told Dee Dee I was going to run at 9 PM, and it might be a little close to her dinner time, but she was OK with it. She came home and ate. We rested, set our heart rate monitors to 130-145, then we hit the pavement exactly at 9 PM. The weather had cooled down into the low eighties, so I was feelin fine!

Dee Dee and I headed out on the long route. When we passed the 1 mile marker, she asked, "Where are we going?" :-) After about one and a quarter miles, I decided to turn back. I didn't think it was good idea to stress Dee Dee to much. Her longest run to date is two miles, and last night she did two and a half. She even tried to climb Ass-Kicker without stopping. I smiled as she ran past me and charged up the hill. We both made it about two-thirds the way up before we decided to stop. Dee Dee was extremely hot, and her bra had rubbed her raw around her rib cages. We have some more work to do to get Dee Dee properly equiped.

On the way back, I dropped Dee Dee off at the front of the neighborhood and she continued on home by herself. I took off on the flat route at the back of the neighborhood to finish my fun run. Last night, I felt like I could keep going, so I did. I relaxed. I discovered that if I focused on relaxing my right tendon, and I ran at the proper angle, it didn't bother me. I felt it the whole run, but it didn't bother me. I went around three times. This was my longest run to date. Nice, and slow, and fun! Dee Dee came looking for me around 10:20 to make sure I hadn't had a heart attack :-)

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 5.2 miles, 1:19:05, recovery pace, 2.1 miles @ 18 minutes a mile, 3.1 miles @ 14:30 a mile

Monday, August 14, 2006

Quotable Quote

"There is no such thing as a bad running day, just a good running lesson."

Adapted from the book, "Chi Running". This is all about keeping a positive attitude. It's so easy to fall into a negative frame of mind, especially when things are not going as planned. Almost always, there is a reason for why things go the way they do. Only by being in the proper frame of mind can we analyze and learn. By falling back to a place where we are comfortable, we can think things through and work out what is best for us.

I also firmly believe in focusing on those things over which I have control. If something is affecting me, and I have no control over it, I either go with the flow to lessen the impact, or I just ignore it. This dad blasted weather is an excellent example of this.

This week I am on a four run cycle. I plan to have a "fun" run today and just do whatever I want. Fun run is a much better title then "junk miles" don't you think? Yesterday, Dee Dee and I took our walk in the park along a nice and cool trail. When we got back, I did twenty minutes on the Cardio Glide. I worked my upper body real hard, and boy did I need it. In the afternoon, I took #2 to the pool. I took advantage of the low turnout to do some laps in the pool. I think I got in 200 meters, and let me tell ya, I have a new appreciation for all you tri-athletes out there!

Finish strong!

Wes
ORN: TBD

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Potpourri

  1. I ran a mile in 5 minutes and 55 seconds in high school.
  2. My fastest two miles was 10 minutes 55 seconds (I died :-) cross country.
  3. I was in the army for two years where I ran everyday
  4. When I took my heart rate at the kitchen table yesterday morning before I left on my run, it was 56!?!? What the? Shouldn't waking and walking down the stairs raised it?
  5. I've been married 18 years to the same beautiful woman.
  6. I have a 21 year old daughter, and two boys 15, and 11.
  7. We are a soccer nut family.
  8. I never played soccer as a child.
  9. I play now as an adult and I am a referee.
  10. We have four Lhasa Apsos, 1 male and 3 females
  11. Mufasa never had it so good :-)
  12. We raised Lhasas for about 5 years.
  13. At one point, we had tweny dogs in our house. The kids loved it!
  14. All the girls are "retired" now and living the life of luxury.
  15. I write software.
  16. I built and sold two software companies during the boom of the nineties.
  17. I own two restaurants, neither of which is making money yet.
  18. I have acid reflux, probably from years of drinking too much coffee and liquor.
  19. 2007 is my year of running.
  20. 2008 I will become a tri-athlete, and if God willing, an Ironman, even if I am the slowest one in existence.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Running (Life) is a Continuous Learning Process

I had a good run this morning. The skies were cloudy, and the temperatures were in the low seventies, even though the humidity was real high. I learned some very important things today. Here they are:
  1. Heat affects you mentally and physically
  2. Warming up is so very important
  3. Improving your form can reduce stress and injury
The first one may sound like a duh!?, but when you got a gung-ho attitude, it's always, "Damn the torpedos! Full speed ahead!" I guess I was lulled into a false sense of bravado or something during the first few runs I made in the heat. Or, maybe I was running in the heat on my flat routes, and they didn't affect me as much. Whatever. The important thing is I have realized that twenty degrees make a big difference, and I need to take that into account during my running. As I was finishing up today, I felt good. I felt like I could go further. My perceived level of effort (or I-Rate) was medium, but my heart rate was in the 160s.

After reading some more info on Jeff Galloway's site, Run Injury Free, I decided to try something new starting out today. I did R1/W1 for two reps. Then I did R2/W1 for one rep, then I slid into R5/W1, which I stuck to for the rest of the route (except for the monster hill). It was fine. I was fine. I felt good.

Finally, I made a concerted effort to improve my form in two areas. One, I tried not to favor my right leg, which was putting some extra stress on my left one. Two, I tried to land on my pad, above my arch, on my right foot, so that I was not stressing out my heel and achilles tendon so much. I succeeded for the most part, and I'm happy to report that my heel and achilles tendon are much less sore today than they were Thursday.

I've finished the introduction and the first two chapters of Chi Running. I, personally, subscribe to certain aspects of oriental thought process, so I'm finding the reading facinating. The biggest thing I've gotten out of the first two chapters is the Principle of Gradual Process. Hello!! I think that section was talking directly to me :-) The principle says that everything has to grow from small to large through incremental development stages. In other words, its a real bad idea to go from 2 to 10 miles in one week. This principle requires patience, understanding, and committment.

Alrighty then! I won't bore you guys anymore this weekend. Dee Dee and I are going on a nice trail walk tomorrow. She ran 2 miles today herself. Excellent!

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 49 minutes, 4 miles, R5/W1, endurance/normal pace
AF/CF: 6/6

Friday, August 11, 2006

Flash News Update

Even though I'm sore in all these interesting places, I'm going to do my long slow endurance run in the morning Saturday. #2 has a soccer scrimmage at 10:30 AM. Here's where I'm sore, so I want to be careful:
  • Right Ankle
  • Right Achilles Tendon
  • Muscle right beneath both hips
  • Left inside of my knee (hardly notice it now)
  • Right back quad
Did good tonight. One beer and 10 wings at the old family sports pub :-) Bought the book, Chi Running to see what it has to say. I heard some good stuff about it, and I luv books. So it was an easy sell.

Just saw this quote on Jeff Galloway's site, Run Injury Free:

The more stress you put on yourself, the more negative messages you'll receive from the left brain, which will lead to a desire to quit. Ease up, take more walk breaks, and you'll get through most of these "walls." If weather presents you with too much heat/humidity and/or you went too fast in the beginning or the middle of the run, it may be too late to do anything but walk. Learn from this, and back off early the next time.

Have a great night, y'all!

Wes

21 Days to a Better Couch Potato

I will not allow the left side of my brain to bring me down!

Hopefully, after three weeks now, I have performed the proverbially 21 days to a new habit. Unfortunately, I am a bit disappointed after my run yesterday evening. I'm not so much disappointed in the run itself, although as you know from my previous post, it was hot and muggy. No, I'm disappointed because I cannot run as fast as I want to, and my right ankle and achilles tendon are weak. I haven't exactly killed myself this week, other than running hard, and my right ankle is sore and the achilles tendon has flared up. Dee Dee reminded me last week this is the ankle that I turned playing softball about five years ago.

I also freely admit that I am a bit frustrated that I have only been able to lose a pound. LOL. Yet the right side of my brain is telling me that that is OK. (It's OK! Stupid). I only want to lose two to three pounds a month, and the first couple of months are harder and have to get ya going.

Based on the way my ankle feels, I'm going to go ahead an put off my long run until Sunday, and I'm not even going to attempt to haul boo-tey. I'm going to take it nice and slow and build up my endurance and quit worrying so much about my time. I can worry about that when I run my test mile in another week. I made a mistake in my plan, and this run will only be four miles. Two weeks from now, it goes up to 4.5 miles. I picked out a new route, and hopefully it won't be as tough comming back.

Phew! Thanks for letting me have a minor rant :-) Y'all have a great weekend!

Finish strong!

Wes
AF/CF: 5/5

Thursday, August 10, 2006

God Bless the Southern Rain

Pulled out of the drive way and Dee Dee called to let me know that practice was cancelled. Wasn't that nice. We're getting pop up showers here almost every day now. They help to cool things down, but leave it hot and muggy.

I did my Thursday run right after I got back with the boys from the supermarket. It was so hard to breath today. I need to slow down a bit when its like this and not push myself too hard. I got done what I wanted to get done, but it was miserable.

And yes Aleks, I have taught my children to quit eating when they are no longer hungry. I am working on teaching them not to take more than they will eat. For the most part, they are pretty good about it. There is a big difference between saving food and putting it in the fridge, and putting food on your plate, not eating it, then throwing it away. Are you listening, Dad? LOL. I wish I was as wise as he is now :-)

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 42:30, 3 Miles, 4 Hill Runs (approx six minutes), normal (hot) pace

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Just found out that #2 has a soccer scrimmage tonight. What's up with all this practice before official practice begins? I just don't understand how people can take sports so seriously. Yes, I'm chuckling heartily right now. Like I have room to talk!

Today, I'm supposed to do 4 hills. I have to back off 50 to 60 paces from the crest of the hill and run up the hill at a nice pace and then walk back down as my rest. If #2 was practicing closer to home, which is hill country, then I wouldn't have a problem with this. However, he is practicing closer into Atlanta, and I might have a little trouble finding a suitable hill in the flat area around the park. I'm sure I'll find one somewhere.

Last night was my night to work at the restaurant. It was a quiet night for some reason. The past three weeks or so, Wednesday nights have been killer. I left the restaurant in the hands of my first key around 8:30 PM and met Dee Dee and the boys at a Pizza parlor for dinner. I was really proud of myself last night. I had a little bit of the appetizer, one beer, and a half a calzone. In my previous life, I would have had three beers, most of the appetizer, and the whole calzone. I walked away a little over full, and I wasn't hungry for the rest of the night. Go me. I rock!

Part of this whole fitness thing is re-educating myself with my eating habits. When I was growing up, my father taught me to always eat everything on my plate. After my parents divorced, if I didn't eat everything on my plate in a hurry, I didn't get seconds and left the table hungry (I had three siblings!). If you combine these two things, you begin to see the problem. When I go out to dinner, or eat at home for that matter, I always eat everything on my plate first and save the talk for later. The extravagent portion sizes at restaurants today is a big problem, and goes part of the way towards explaining why I am 40-60 pounds over weight.

Kudos to Dee Dee for running 2.6 miles last night in her brand new pair of Nike running shoes. You R-O-C-K lover. We're gonna nail that 5K in September! Some nice guy on a bike stopped and asked Dee Dee if she needed water :-) I personally thought that was a very gentlemenly thing to do. Later, friends!

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: Rest
AF/CF: 4/4

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hot Tuesday

Would someone P-L-E-A-S-E turn on the air conditioning. I don't know if it was the new technical shirt I was wearing or what, but I haven't sweated like that all summer. Here's an update on my favorite topic, hills:
  1. Mount Doom - check
  2. Ass-Kicker - check!!
  3. Reverse side of Mount Doom (TBD)
That's right, folks! Last night I conquered Ass-Kicker. Nobody saw me turn into a quivering pile of jelly just on the other side of the crest. Nope. Didn't happen. That stain on the sidewalk was already there. I swear.

Let's pause a moment for the obligatory political announcement:

Kudos to the voters in the 4th District of the State of Georgia. You have successfully voted Cynthia McKinney out of office and spared sane people all over the United States further embarrassment.

We will now return to our regularly scheduled programing...

Last night, at 9 PM, I ran a three mile route. I took my normal long route, and instead of deviating on the way back, I chose to run up the long slow back slope of Mount Doom. I think I made it about half way, but had to stop when my heart rate reached 170. I tried to do the Cadence Drills, as recommended by Galloway, but it is almost impossible to see your watch in the dark :-) Oh well, I'll try again next time. I read on some forum that a really good cadence is 180 steps per minute. I assume the writer was talking about both feet, cause with one foot, I'm doing about 80 steps per minute. With two feet, it would be 160. If you can see me now, my eyes are rolling into the back of my head. Only 20 more steps to go and 39 pounds. LOL.

The good news is that I ran the hilly three mile route in 36:10, which gives me an average of 12:025 per mile. That's almost a forty second per mile improvement over my last run on this same route.

I'm going to take Michelle's advice and alternate training every other day. I will take my long run on Saturday or Sunday, depending on which day of the week my training falls. I'm very happy with this decision. It gives me four days of training one week, then three days the next week. Now, time to look into some more options for cross training. Till next time!

Finish strong,

Wes

ORN: 3 miles, R4/W1, 12:025 pace, 4 minutes warm up and warm down (not included)
AF/CF: 3/3

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Perspective Adjustment

Big one, small one, don't need one? Doesn't matter:

Red Head Momma - stuck

Nuff said.

Wes

Of Quandries and Nonsensical Things

So I'm looking at the training plan in my book, "A Year Long Plan" (not 52 Week Plan), and I'm thinking to myself, "Self, this workout is too light. Surely this guy knows what he is talking about." And now, I'm not really sure what I want to do. I've looked at several plans on the internet, and I can't seem to find one that "fits like a glove" without customization.

Here is my problem with the A plan in the book:
  • You only work out three days a week.
  • The Tuesday and Thursday runs are too light (30 minutes max)
  • There is no speed work, just hills, Cadence Drills (CD), and Gliding (Acgs)
The problem I have with the B plan is that the mileage is just way too high for where I am right now in my training. If I was doing ten minute miles, then Tuesday and Thursday would be fine, but if I run for thirty minutes now, then I'm very likely to only get in around 2.5. Is this something I need to worry about? Or should I just wait patiently for my speed to increase so my mileage does as well? Finally, what about that fourth workout? I think I can handle a 2-2.5 mile run on Saturdays, but I don't want to risk injury or wear myself out.

Sigh. Maybe on Mondays and Fridays I can ride the bike, and on Saturday I can go to the local gym for some strength training. We'll see...

I appreciate all the feedback I got for my Twighlight Zone post. I can assure, I do NOT believe in being perfect. As a matter of fact, there is beauty in imperfection. Think about it. However, that does not mean that I cannot and should not strive to be a better person. I have identified a few things that I would like to get better at, and this blog has allowed me to vent my frustrations about a couple of them. In order to motivate myself and air my laundry, I am adding a AF/CF tally to the end of my blog: Alcohol (Binge) Free/Cigarette Free. When either one of these hits zero, I figure there are four things you can do, depending on how active your are with me and my blog:

  • Say a silent prayer for me and go away quietly, or just go away.
  • Chide me for breaking my resolve
  • Yell at me for being stupid
  • Kick me in the buttocks in a manner that I will not like :-)
The choice is yours.

After two days of rest, I am ansy in the pantsy. #2 son's soccer practice hasn't started up yet, so I have the entire afternoon free. Well, OK. Not the entire afternoon. I have to balance 4 checking accounts, and this after I did six yesterday (don't ask!). But in any case, I'm gonna get in my three miles today and my drills, and take it from there. Take care, y'all!

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: Rest
AF/CF: 2/2

Monday, August 07, 2006

Looking Ahead This Week

My body is healing up nicely. Most of the soreness has receeded, and the muscles in my legs are feeling just awesome. I can already tell my leg muscles are becomming more defined. Can't wait for my belly to catch up :-)

I really enjoyed my day off yesterday, and expect to be ready and rearing to go tomorrow after two days rest. When I took Dee Dee to Phidippides Saturday for shoes, I bought the 52 Week Plan by Galloway. After reviewing the plan, and based on where I am at now with my mileage for my longest run, I am going to insert myself into the plan at the 8th week. It just so happens that this puts me right on track to run my 5K September 16th. The mileage is a little low at week 8 for what I am used to, so I may add a little, just to keep me where I am at. The long run for this week is a bump up to 4.5, so that again, coincides with right where I need to be.

For those of you who have been waiting on the edge of your seat, I just want you to know that I did not burn my roux for the gumbo I made last night! Nothing like sitting there for twenty to twenty-five minutes stirring a batch of oil and flour. The concoction went from a pasty white to a chocolate brown color. Scared the hell out of me though when I added the onions, cause it turned black. I thought all that work had gone for nothing, but it actually turned out fantastic. Can't wait to eat it tonight, and I hope the boys like it. That's the second danger zone. Spend all that time and money on good food, and the boys go YUCK! Give me some noodles and butter. As a side note, don't try to taste it while you are cooking roux. The oil is extremely hot and it really doesn't taste all that great by itself. All I got from it was burnt lips. See! You learn something new everyday.

Based on your feedback and my own thinking, this is going to be my race plan for next year, as of right now:
  • Winter/Spring 5K
  • Spring 10K
  • Late Spring Half-Marathon
  • Atlanta Marathon (November)
Not carved in stone of course. We will see how life plays out along the way! Till next time.

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: Rest
AF/CF: 1/1

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Twighlight Zone

I am in the twightlight zone. I'm between that stage, where I want to commit to the path that I have embarked upon, yet, I'm not ready to give up the vestiges of my past. The bad habits I have accumulated over forty years of life still cling to me, like a bad smell. The kind of smell that you can't get rid of, no matter how many times you climb into the shower and scrub, and scrub, and scrub.

You see, my love for running has not yet overcome all these questionable things I like to do. I still eat more than I should. I still crave the beer and the alcohol. When I cave in and drink, the cigarettes come out, and I smoke. Not a lot, but enough to be a nuisance, but more than I should (which is none).

Critical mass is approaching. It's not a life defining moment, maybe. Rather, it is a moment of ultimate personal endearment. Either I want to live a better life. Either I want to commit to being a better healthier person, or I don't. There is no try. There is only do, or not do. This week, my rest week, I'm going to have to have a "come to Jesus" moment. Release the last remnants of old bad habits like a sweaty dirty running outfit, or accept that I'm not going to be able to do what I want to. That these old habits have some kind of control over me that I don't want to admit.

I don't like to be controlled. I don't like to be dictated to, even by my own poor decisions.

Yea, yea. It's time to finish strong. I've got the rest of my life to finish strong. It's time for an ah ha! moment. Starting now. Thank you, Jesus.

Wes

ORN: Rest

Saturday, August 05, 2006

What a Wonderful Day!

Woke up this morning at 7:30 A.M. Doesn't sound like much, but for a guy that has been getting five and half hours sleep all week, going to bed at midnight and getting seven and half hours of sleep is indescribable. #2 son had soccer practice at 9 AM, and I wanted to take advantage of this and get in a morning run. You see, the late night runs for me keep me up until past midnight during the week. Also, I knew it would be cooler at 9 AM in the morning, and I wanted to take advantage of that.

So, I get up at seven-thirty so I can make the family breakfast. Did you guys know I like to cook? Well, I do. And not just easy stuff either. I'm a budding chef, and I like to cook all kinds of meals. Tonight I'm making Texas Chilli and tomorrow I'm making steaks AND Gumbo. The gumbo is for later in the week when I don't have time to cook.

Dee Dee asked me if we should be eating forty minutes before we ran. "Not to worry!", I said. We are eating light, just a little bit of scrambled eggs and some sausage. Turns out I was right. Eggs and sausage is OK 40 minutes before you run. Just don't eat six eggs and 10 pieces of sausage :-)

We get to #2's soccer field and the weather was a balmy 80 degrees. Oh, the joy of running! LOL. I ran 3.8 miles up and down the road in front of my son's soccer fields, and Dee Dee joined me for most of that. But what a difference the temperature makes. I was breathing fine. I got my heart rate up into the high sixties. No problem. The temperature was definitely rising though, and by the time #2 got through with practice, it was 90 degrees.

We fitted Dee Dee for running shoes today at Phidipedies. I probably spelled that wrong, but it is a running store in Atlanta named after the Greek dude that died after delivering the message from Marathon. She only tried on like 12 pairs of shoes before we decided on one that would work. That's cool, though. That's the whole reason we went there, to make sure Dee Dee got herself a good pair of shoes.

I picked up Jeff Galloway's book, "A Year Round Plan", and I SO want to run the Atlanta Marathon in 2007. You guys talk me out of it. I'm already scared of week 29 where I'm supposed to run 13.1 miles. Never mind a marathon! We'll see LOL.

My friends, until next time, finish strong!!

Wes

ORN: 48 minutes, 3.8 miles, R10/W1, mixed pace with the boss :-)
Race Day: 42 days and counting

Friday, August 04, 2006

Stick a Fork in Me

There was no relief from the heat here yesterday. No late afternoon thundershowers to cool things off. No cancellation of soccer practice to add a few hours to my day. When I dropped #1 off, I knew it was hot and muggy. In the past, the heat never really bothered me, so I shrugged it off as I walked to the starting point of my run. Based on how I felt, I was either going to take the 2.6 mile route, or the 4 mile route.

Shortly after I started, it became apparent that I was hurting. Oh, no. Not physically hurting. Mentally, I think. I was having a very hard time breathing. I was working hard to keep my heart rate between 150 and 160, but I had allowed myself a buffer up to 165.

Note to self: Do not eat two bowls of Red Beans and Rice before running :-)

Upon arriving at the do or die point, I went ahead an opted for the four mile run. My body was fine. It was hard to breath, and it felt like I had a bowling ball in my stomach, but my legs were fine. I decided to tough it out. Run 4 / Walk 1 was the best I could do, and I was happy with that. I found myself urging the one minute walk break to come, then sighed heartily as it passed by all too fast.

The run was uneventful. Halfway through, I resisted the urge to lie down in an intersection and yell, "Penguin down! Penguin down!". For my grand finale, I sprinted the last tenth of a mile or so and got my heart rate up to 173. Twenty minutes after my run it was still hovering around 130. That suprised me, but I guess the heat had a lot to do with that.

Despite the so so run, its always a good thing when you can walk away with something positive. I learned a little bit more about myself yesterday. Don't eat so close to a run. Don't get in such a hurry to bust your ass. Keep at it and the rewards will come. They will come.

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 48:28, 4 miles, regular pace (12:15), R4/W1

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Solid Base

My initial three week training period is comming to a close. The 5k I would like to run is starting to appear over the horizon. The 5K isn't set in stone. Oh, no. My family life and the restaurants have way too much control over me for that. The good news is that I have a backup 5K the weekend after that if everything doesn't fall into place.

I've been working hard, both in my job, the restaurants, and the training. I've pushed myself. I've told myself that I'm not a couch potato. I don't need the beginner's program, and I think my mileage has reflected that. Five weeks ago, if I had told myself that I would "do four miles", I think I would have laughed in my own face. But I have, and now I'm a l'il proud.

Now, I have a couple of express needs. I'm thinking next week will be a "rest week". I want to limit my runs to two miles or less, but still do four for the week. I also feel the need to evaluate my progress. I'm thinking of going to the track one of those days and doing my best mile, two miles, or even my best 1.24 miles, so I can compare my time to the physical test I took. After that, I will begin the process of adding 10% to my mileage every week up til "taper week" before the race. By the way, thanks to Blaine Moore over at Run to Win. As a runner and an athlete, this guy is just brilliant, IMHO. Check out his website.

Alrighty folks, nothing exciting on the running front, as Wednesday is my offical rest day. Dee Dee got out and ran a mile last night by herself. Go Dee Dee! 5K here we come!!

In all aspects of life, finish strong!

Wes

Oh, BTW, another reason I want to have a rest week next week is so I can switch my LONG run to Sunday, when I have more time...

ORN: Rest

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Bits and Pieces

I would like to thank all of you for your kind thoughts regarding the recent tragedy that struck Jennifer Ewing. Hopefully, our thoughts and prayers are a small comfort to the family and friends. The primary suspect of this horrendous crime is currently in jail. Hopefully, Georgia will get it right this time and make sure this creature never has another moment of freedom, ever.

Annette, over at Running Again, asked me how my blog always ended up in the top 5 at the Runner's Blog Family. Well Annette, if you have special talent, or you know where to send the money, things like this tend to happen :-) In reality, I am either "just lucky", or it could be the fact that I am a prolific poster. I like to blog at least once a day during the week, so maybe frequency has something to do with it. I REALLY like the idea of the Runner's Blog Family. If you are not already a member, please join. It is all about runners supporting runners. That's something I can relate to.

For all you folks that are comming by without leaving a comment, please do! I know you're there. I see it on my stat counter :-) Now how am I supposed to be able to stop by your blog and say "Hi!" if I don't know who you are... And no, this is not an attempt to prostitute myself for comments!

Last night, I was going to take advantage of my son's soccer practice to run on the flat route near the fields. Just as we were arriving, a summer thunderstorm popped up and deluged us with cool rain and the most amazing display of lightning I had seen in a while. Practice was canceled, and by the time I got home, most of the storm was past. I managed to run a 2.85 mile recovery run on the back route in a lite stimulating drizzle. What a joy! Not that I wasn't impressed by all you folks out there running today in the 96+ degree heat. Oh, I was! It's just that the cool rain was simply awesome. Besides, running in that kind of heat just raises you another notch on my "You ROCK!" scale.

Did I mention that I ran the whole 2.8 miles? I didn't stop once, not even on the hills. I was psyched. I was so psyched that I felt I could have gone around again, but I didn't. I want to stick to my plan. Till next time!

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 42:30, 2.85 miles, recovery pace (14:30 per mile), all run!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tail of the Monitor (Part II)

"Welcome home!"

My mind was whispering to me as I walked out the garage door at 9 PM at night. The air was so hot and muggy, you could feel it as it pressed up against your skin and clung there, like an early morning dew. Despite the conditions, I felt extremely lucky to be getting out at all. The restaurant had interfered with my plans for the evening. I had wanted to go to the track and try the "Blaine Moore Method" to determine my maximum heart rate. It just wasn't meant to be.

Arriving home late, my two wonderful boys are carrying on like they don't need any parents. #1 has been moving furniture into his sister's old room. God bless him! He painted the walls Auburn (the University of) orange while I was in Charleston. I guess its better to ask for forgiveness than permission. #2 son had been moving all of his stuff out of his old room and into #1's old room. Busy boys are happy boys.

Deciding to forgo my normal warmup, I took off on a slow jog to the top of subdivison. For this first part of my run, I wanted to keep my heart rate below 150. As I climbed the gentle slope to the entrance, my heart rate settled in around a comfortable 145. I picked up pace as I settled into my comfort zone. Down a slight incline, up by the pool, down into the Valley of Death and into the teeth of Mount Doom.

Not today, baby! You are mine.

And it was. I climbed Mount Doom without stopping, heart rate approaching 165. As I settled into my glide down the gentle slope to the entrance of the neighborhood, my heart rate settled in at 150, and I hit the first mile marker at 12 minutes.

Yea, I love running downhill!

After 1.3 miles, I settled into my first walk. For two minutes, I caught my breath, then I settled back into my run. Now for the worst part, the uphill climb back home. Yea, it was tough. I'm trying to run a little more of it each time, but the going is rough. I probably ended up walking about half of it. I ran down the back side of Mount Doom and into the Valley of Death. I took as much of Ass-Kicker as I could take, about 30%, before I had to walk up that monster as well. I went right past the entrance to my subdivision. Today was going to be a 4+ miler.

The last mile of the run was good. The back area of my subdivision is relatively flat with a few hills. The final hill before the downhill run to my home is a close kin of Ass-Kicker. As I approached it, I gritted my teeth and vowed not to stop.

168, 169, 170, 171.

Higher and higher I climbed. Higher and higher my heart rate climbed. I couldn't catch my breath. My head was spinning. OK. It wasn't THAT bad, but this is a story :-) As I reached the top, my heart rate monitor was beeping at 174. That's pretty high I thought, and it slowly declined as I jogged downhill back into home base. I spent the next four to six minutes cooling down. Finally, I gave up and went inside into the air conditioning.

What a run! Four plus hilly miles. I think I walked like 5 times, and I KNOW I'll be getting there as I take more and more of those hills and grind them under my running shoe. Till next time...

Finish strong!

Wes

ORN: 53:22, 4.15 miles, 12:30 pace, Run 8/Walk 2 (or there abouts)