Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Eight is enough

So, since I didn't do a long run over the weekend, I thought I would do one on Monday night. My previous long run was 7.2 miles. On Monday I did 8 solid miles in One hour, 41 minutes and 9 seconds. 1:41:09. I was happy that my splits were pretty close together.

PF Chang's RNR 1/2 Marathon: One of the benefits to doing a race in your town is that you can go over the course. Today I drove from downtown Phoenix to the finish on the campus of Arizona State University. Over the next few months I will share some pictures of the course.

Here's a few:

The view from the start line. This is in downtown Phoenix, just east of the Capitol and Wesley Bolin Plaza. Not the most scenic part of Arizona. The 1/2 marathon course goes from rough urban city to picturesque Papago Park and Tempe at the end.

Just past the start is the Forensic Science Building. Reminds me of the TV show "Bones"

Almost directly across the street is 704 W. Jefferson st. Interesting building, I wonder about it's history.

All this and we've haven't gone by the one mile marker yet. More pictures of the 1/2 marathon course to follow. The full marathon is 98% different.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ghouls & Goblins 5K

It was a beautiful morning in Tempe, Arizona. Perfect day for a 5k road race. This was the second official race I've participated in. The other one was at this same park, Kiwanis Park just 2 months ago.

I knew my time would improve, but I wasn't sure by how much. I was hoping to finish in under 37 minutes, beating my first run by 5 minutes.

There were less runners out for this race. Maybe 80 runners total and some walkers, strollers, etc too. I paced myself pretty well and watched as most of the runners faded from my view. One, lady that recieved a medal for her age group would leap frog me everytime I took a walk break. I don't believe she ever walked. Finally around a mile and a half I passed her. When I would walk, I would hear a runner approach and that was my signal to start running again. I think I took about 5 walk breaks for about 30 seconds to 1 minute in duration each. In the last half mile I didn't see anyone in front that I could catch. I believe I finished about 2 minutes behind the runner ahead of me. But, I didn't want to be caught either. There were about 3-4 runners within 20 seconds of me. At the end of the course you run around the lake and then up a short hill. Then it's about a quarter mile to the finish on the soccer field. I decided that I needed to put some distance between me and anyone else at the hill. So, I charged up the hill and kept a steady pace to the finish. The announcer noticed me checking behind for runners as I neared the finish, said over the loudspeaker that there was no one there and that I was finishing strong. I liked that.

I finished in approximately 34:35. 2 1/2 minutes faster than I was hoping for and way faster than I ever thought I would. Almost 8 minutes faster than my time on the same course 2 months previous. I am overjoyed. I still can't believe it.

After the race, I hung around the finish and high fived runners as they came in and took my picture crossing the finish. Yes, it's a fake finish photo. I then watched the kiddie dash and met some neighbors who were giving out raisin bread from Safeway Markets. They had on halloween costumes, the kind with rubber old people's faces with big noses, so I didn't recognize them, but they said, "arn't you Emily's dad?" More people know my daughter than me.

Wow, I still can't believe my time. I remember back in June when I ran for the first time. I made it about 10 houses before I was out of breath.
Look, they have my time a bit better and I was one place from a medal. But, I finished 10 minutes behind the third place finisher.

Softball News: We lost our tournament game. It was terrible. We ended up playing on a different field that was smaller than the one we usually play on. The bases were the same, but the fences in left were about 65 feet shorter. We don't really have to many power hitters, so the advantage went to the other team. They hit three balls off me that would have been catchable on the other field. Here, they ended up on the other side of the fence. We were toast. But, we had fun and look forward to playing again after the holidays.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


The past couple days have been humid. At least as far as AZ goes. 60% compared to 20-30% that I am more used to. Because of this, my running times haven't been so hot. Four miles in 53:53 on Monday and 54:23 on Tuesday. At first I was dissappointed with my Monday time. Searching for a reason, I came up with the humid weather. Could this be the reason why I gained a bit of weight too?

So, chime in and give me some 'words of wisdom'.

Which is harder to run in, higher tempatures or higher humidity?

Does higher humidity cause your body to retain water and therefore add to your weight?

I'll have to do some research, but I would like to hear from anyone with an opinion.

Article about weight: I read this article on MyFoodDiary.com. I keep track of my eating and exercising at this website:


Miles Run: You'll notice on the right hand side there's a couple new features from RunningAHEAD.com. My year to date, weekly and lifetime miles, as well as, my last 8 runs.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Leukemia Society

I have been touched by the generosity of those donating to the Leukemia Society. We've gotten over 15 donations from 9 different states for over $1100. My goal is $1700 and I'm giving $400, so all I really need is another $300.

I would like to see a donation from every state. Any amount would be appreciated, even $1. So, if you don't see your state on the list, consider giving.

Detroit Tigers vs. St. Louis Cardinals: Who's gonna win? I don't know. Who's most generous? That's the question. If you give, let me know which team your rooting for and we'll see who wins in the generosity department. So far it's

Cardinals $50 (Mike & Karen Perry) - Detroit Tigers $0.00.

Kevin Monahan?

Unofficial Chicago Marathon Race Results
Official Start Time: 7:58:59 AM CST
Chip Time: 3:29:02
Clock: 3:32:53
Pace: 7:58
Overall: 4119
Gender: 3485
Division: 629

the Chicago Marathon is over for this year. I was looking at various runners and I noticed someone from my hometown with my last name. I don't think I'm related to him, but you never know. I wouldn't mind being related to him, because he's fast. Congratulations to all that did their best in Chicago.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Measure Twice, Cut Once!

Thursday: 4 mile run in 47.54. A new PR sort of. Splits: 11.14/11.53/12.35/12.11
Friday: Softball nite. We lost a heartbreaker 9-7.
Saturday: Morning run with TnT. 4.6 miles of hills in South Mountain Park. 55.37 in 60 degree weather. It was beautiful.

I looked at Monday and Wednesdays workout and noticed that the third mile always took way longer than any of the other miles, including the fourth. Why? I remeasured my course and found I was going another 1/10 of a mile in mile three. At a 12 minute pace, thats over one minute more running. Makes sense. So on Thursday I ran the new measurement and shaved 30 seconds of my last time.

Here's my breakdown for last week by mile:

Mile 1: 11.54/11.23/11.14
Mile 2: 11.40/11.38/11.53
Mile 3: 13.27/13.11/12.35
Mile 4: 11.51/12.08/12.11

Running in South Mountain Park is beautiful. Desert running on the park road. We ran uphill for the first 2.3 miles and then retraced our steps back to the parking lot. The weather was just barely 60* at 6:30 am. There was two groups running, so when we started it was like a race with over 100 runners. TnT had two groups. The full marathoners went for a short 8 miler. The rest of us went for a four miler. My goal was to get back to the parking lot before any of the 8 milers did. Some of them are twice as fast as I am, so I thought it would be a great incentive. I made it to the half way point, 2.3 miles in about 28 minutes. The approximate elevation at this point is 1608 feet. We started at 1350, so we climbed 258 feet. It was a bit of a struggle up for this first time hiller. Downhill was a breeze. I took a one minute break at the top to drink some gatorade and a one minute bathroom break about half way down and made it to the parking lot in 27.5 minutes. A total time of 55.37, that I am happy with. Here's the route.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Latest Runs

I'd love to have a tech shirt that says:
I have two speeds.
If you don’t like this one,
you won’t like the other one.
Saturday: 3 miles in 39.10. Heavy rains at 6:30 am. Granada Park/ Canal - Phoenix.
Sunday: Rest day. 1 mile walk with family
Monday: 4 miles in 48.54. 9 pm. 70*. splits: 11.54/11.40/13.27/11.51. PR for 4 miles.

Saturday was the first practice with TnT. There was about 50 runners. As soon as we started, so did the rain. It rained pretty good the entire time on I was on the canal. After the run we heard short talks from Scottsdale Running Company on picking the right shoes to run in, a chiroprator and massage therapist.

Monday evening, Tyler and I went to the Phoenix Rock Gym. His Adventure Crew (a branch of the boy scouts) goes there to climb the walls often. I climbed about 4 times. Making it to the top twice. Afterwards, I ran my 4 mile route in record time. I kept busy by counting the Saguaros. There are 18 of them on my run.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I love Softball!

Softball Report: Our church team is really coming around. Last week we won 14-13, scoring 3 runs in the last inning. Tonight we won 22-2. That's right 22-2. That makes us 2-4 with one game left before the playoffs. I had two good hits. Both went to the fence on a couple hops. Someday, I'm gonna hit one over the fence. Someday.

Baltimore Marathon: Tomorrow is the big day in Baltimore. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and everyone will have a great run. Katie, one of my donors for the Leukemia Society is running a half marathon. Go Katie!

Team In Training (TnT) update: We've gotten 15 donations to date. From Arizona, Ohio, Indiana, Maryland, California, Illinois & Wisconsin. Only 43 states to go. If you'd like to donate, please click on "support my running" at the top left of this page or right here.

Oh yeah. Today's a rest day. Tomorrow morning I train with TnT at Granada Park.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

PR's, PR's, PR's

What a great run tonight. I usually take walk breaks when I run (no, walking isn't cheating). Usually, it's whenever I feel I need one. Which means the first one is too late and the rest are too often. Tonights plan was to take two per mile for just a minute each. The first one was at the corner of Florence and Ross, the 2nd one at the corner of Lisbon and Genoa, the 3rd one at the corner of Drake and Monterey and the last one at the corner of Monterey and Harrison. That would finish my two mile loop and then I would do it all over again. It all went as planned the first two miles and I ended up setting a personal record (PR) for the first mile of 11 minutes even and tieing a PR for two miles at 23:17. My third mile was at 12.49 and the fourth at 14.33 for another PR for four miles at 50:42.

I finished with standing knee deep in my now cold pool for 10 minutes. I guess you could say that's an Arizona Ice bath.

Wildlife in our community: I run in a very residential neighborhood. We don't have woods anywhere near us, but we do have a neighborhood skunk. I saw it last night, but it was no where to be found tonight. Poor thing. We have pretty sturdy garbage cans, so I don't know what it's gonna eat. Maybe it's someone's pet. I hear they can take away it's stink glands (I don't know what the glands are called).

Tomorrow's a cross training day. That's what I call playing softball with the gang. Then on Saturday I have practice with Team in Training (TnT).

Chicago Runners: Althought I'm not running in the upcoming marathon, I hope the weather gets better. I saw snow in Chicago today. Isn't it funny when you become a runner, you start watching the marathons like it was Super Bowl Sunday. Good luck in the Marathon.

unknown author

Don't compare yourself to others.

Instead, focus on where you've been

versus where you are now

versus where you want to be.
So I guess I should recap where I've been. In my first post I talked about being able to run just a few houses before I was gasping for breath. But, that day I became a runner. On August 13th, I ran 3 miles in 47 minutes and I made a note in my journal that it was the "Best Run Yet!" On September 2nd I ran in my first organized race, "Run for Brooke" and I ran 3.1 miles (5K) in 42.17, a 13.38 pace. Last night I went for a 4 mile run at a 13 minute pace in 52 minutes flat. I used to think that 3 miles was a long run, but now 4 miles is just a typical run and anything under 3 miles is a short run. I'm hoping that when my 45th birthday comes around in November that 4 and 5 mile runs will be short one's and I will be doing double digits for my long runs.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Ballplayer goes to Heaven (not to be confused with Cory Lidle)

A few years ago I got the itch to play softball again. I rounded up a bunch of guys and we had a team. Most of us didn't know each other. I was the coach. It just happened that I assembled a pretty good bunch of guys. We all had different occupations, lived in different parts of the city and most probably would have never of met.

Patrick Sullivan was one of the players. In his early 40's, he loved softball and his family would come out to watch us play. He was a lefty with a lot of power. We'd like it when he'd hit those line drives into right field. He'd pitch for us, play some outfield and even played short for us. It was a little challenging for a lefty, but he would pull it off more times than not.

Yesterday, he died from cancer.

He's been fighting it for the past year. I guess he held on until his beloved Padres finished their season. Of course, lately he has not been able to play the game he loved.

Now, I guess he's leading off and playing short for some team up above. God Bless you, Patrick Sullivan.

slow but steady

Today's the day for the bi weekly weigh in. I know I want to see slow steady improvement, which is what I am seeing, but it would be nice to see a big drop in weight, inches, etc.
My weight today is 242. It's been as low as 239.5.
waist: 44.5
Hips: 46
Chest: 45.5
Neck: 18.5
Thigh: 26.75
Bicep: 14.5
Calf: 19
My low weight is always listed on the left hand bar. Click on the number for historical stats.
You can also click on the labels - "tipping the scales" to see all posts relating to my weight. Yes, these posts are somewhat painful. Hopefully, someone that is losing weight too will find it motivating.

I guess I should add this paragraph, because the post so far sounds somewhat depressing. I have losts 15 pounds so far and about 2 inches off my waist. I have gone from being able to run 1/10 of a mile to running 2 miles straight and I can run/walk over 7 miles. I am very happy with my progress to date.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Stretching it out

Since I haven't run since Friday due to the turn around trip to Magic Mountain, I decided to do my long run on Monday. I did the same 2 mile loop in my neighborhood 3 1/2 times. I officially went 7.2 miles in 1:39:45. That's the furthest I've gone to date. It's also the longest time I've been on my feet.

The half marathon will be 13.1 miles and I will probably be on my feet from 2.5 to 3 hours. A typical training program will have one day a week in which runners will stretch out their mileage. It's called a Long Slow Day (LSD). The strategy is to run slowly for a longer distance. Usually 10% longer than you ran last week. Then a few weeks before the marathon you tapper or reduce your mileage to rest up for the big day. I would like to do a couple 13+ milers before Christmas.

My knees are aching this morning. Whenever, I stretch out my distance I usually ache a bit more than usual. Today is no different. But, I'm not hurt. They say the rest days are when your muscles are growing. Today will be a rest day.

NRR (Not running related): Magic Mountain was great. I got to ride some of the roller coasters with the kids, but since I was there as a caperone, I also spent some time doing smaller rides and games with the kids that were not into doing every roller coaster imaginable. The food was less than good. So, I didn't hurt my diet any and I did do a lot of walking too. The bus ride was pretty quite. But, sleeping on a bus is difficult none the less. We managed. Emily, my daughter had a great time, as did, all of her friends.

Fund Raiser: The fund raiser for the Leukemia Society is going great. Everyone has been very generous, but I still need more donations. In my attempt to get a donation from every state, I have gotten four states. Katie (a fellow blogger) gave $5 from Maryland. I don't know Katie personally, but she had done a wonderful job with her running and diet. If you want to see some amazing before and after pix, go see her site. She's also great with advice. I, have also gotten a donation Jerry Sappingtoon from California. Not sure how he found my blog, but I do appreciate it. If you don't know, I am trying to get donations from all fifty states. I am, also trying to get a total of $1700 in donations for the Luekemia Society. To date we have $411. My wife, Amy has been wonderful in helping to get funds. I may be running, but she is diffently helping big time.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Magic Mountain

Tonight, after the softball game I will be leaving for Magic Mountain in California with my daughter. It's, what Arizonian's call, a turn around trip. This is where a bunch of teenagers and their guard dogs (that would be me) get on a bus at midnight. We drive to the park, just in time to enter. We play all day and then get on the bus again to drive back to Arizona. Of course, we sleep on the bus. At least that's what they told me when I volunteered to be a chaperone.

Therefore, I won't be running today or tomorrow. I got a 4 mile run in last night with a bit of an upset stomach. I was thinking about running in the "Race for the Cure" Sunday morning. Since we don't get back from Magic Mountain until late Sunday morning, I will probably skip it this time around.

Additional edit: I did have some time before the softball game to get in a mile. Fellow blogger, Vic just ran a one mile race and was pumped about it, so I decided to do just a mile before the game. My time was 11:31. 21 seconds slower than my personal record (PR) and 24 seconds slower than Vic. I like running the mile for time and will continue to do so in the future.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

My father, mother and a lady named Junebug

I remember making it a mile without stopping, then a mile and a half. Tonight it was two miles without stopping and I owe it all to my father, mother and Junebug. I read a blog about this lady in Houston that has been running for a little over a year and is planning on running the Houston 1/2 marathon. She said she is making a list of people for each mile she's going to run. I assume that means that she's going to think about these people for an entire mile. So, tonight I thought about my father during mile 1 and my mother for mile 2.

There they are in front of the Alamo. I guess this would be a better story if the lady from Houston was from San Antonio. But, she's not. Anyway these are my parents. I'm their fourth, last and best (?) kid. My dad was stationed in Japan during the Korean war. His parents told him to bring them something back from Japan. So, he brought a wife and kid. They raised us four kids in College Hill, a great little neighborhood on the northside of Cincinnati. My dad, the army cook worked as a restaurant manager for 40 plus years. Many years with either my mom or one of us kids working along side.

So, that's what I thought about tonight. I ran splits of 11.42, 12.46,14.54 and 15.58. OK, so that first two miles kind of wore me out. It was still a good run.

I do need to mention one more thing. I'm losing lots of weight, but my son made a comment and I think he needs to get grounded for it. I told him the street light go out a lot just as I'm running under them at night. He said it was probably due to the vibrations. Yes, I'm big, but I'm not that big.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

One small step for a man, and I'm out of breath.

So, September is over and I logged in a bit over 80 miles. That in it self is a giant leap! Since August 1 I have logged 135.42 miles. Most of them in my neighborhood and my neighbors are starting to wonder about me.

I've decided to clear off all the junk that's on top of my exercise bench in the garage. I got a great deal on it, but lately it's just been a place to store tools, paint brushes and the like. Now it will be my home between runs. I was running almost every day, but they say the rest day is when your legs rebuild stronger. So now, I'll run every other day. Weight lift in between.

On the 30th, I did 4 miles in my neighborhood in 54:58. Splits of 12:13, 13:50, 14:42 and 14:11.
On the 1st of October I did an upper body work out.
Yesterday the 2nd i ran 4 miles in 52:05. A 13 minute pace. If you want to see my daily mileage look on the left bar at the bottom, you can click on the mileage total anytime or here.

How's the donations coming? California and Maryland are in the lead. I'm looking to get donations from every state. It's still early, but you can Donate Here.