Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thank you very much

Scott & Barbara Bahr
Alea Boudreau
Hilary & Paul Boyer
Jordan & Barbara Buck
Jennifer Franco
Kim & John Gibbons
Lisa Ginn, javamom
Bob & Margie Hunter
Bob & Theresa Lachmann
The Lambert Family
Dave & Kelly Larsen
John & Signe Linda
Tiffany Lossing
Jerry McMahon
Elsie Merfeld
Jack Monahan
Thom & Sally Monahan
Debra Pierce
Mike & Karen Perry
Cathy Potter
Harry & Elsa Potter
Jeff & Annie Potter
Steve & Frana Potter
Katie Riley, K80K
Raymond Rivera
Jerry Sappington
Evelyn Sissel
Peggy Stamm
John & Judy Watson
Paula Wirth

These folks are my relatives, clients, fellow bloggers and mostly friends.

These folks haven given generously to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I, also, know that all of these fine folks have given to other worthwhile causes and are truly special people. Thanks again.

Thank you Thank you Thank you

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Better Name

I survived my minor surgery and feel much better today. Not good enough for a run, but better.

I read somewhere, someone said that the name 'half marathon' wasn't appropriate for the race of 13.1 miles. That the name made it seem like it was a lesser race and that no other race 5k, 10k, marathon, ultramarathon had a name that made the race seem like a lesser alternative. So, I want to either hear a better name or come up with one that gives that race it's own identity.

So help me out if you have a sugggestion.

Here's my ideas:

21K - since that's close to the correct distance. I think 13.1 comes out to a bit less.
A Sprintathon - Since most racers run the half a bit faster than they would a full. Even us, new to running would do the half quicker than half of a full.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Tortilla Flat and the Apache Trail

Saturday: My kids, wife, father in law and his wife and I spent the day driving the Apache Trail. If you ever come to Phoenix, this is a great way to spend the day. It is very scenic with winding roads through the Superstition Mountains with views of three different lakes. The first lake is Canyon lake and we stopped there to ride the Dolly Steamboat. Unbelievable views. We then had lunch at the Superstition Saloon (pictured above) in Tortilla Flat (pop: 6). Too tired to drive all the way to Roosevelt Dam, we turned around and made it back to civilization. Of course, we stopped to have some gelato at Angel Sweet. A great day. I rested and then around 7 pm went out for a 4.16 mile run. Did it in under 50 minutes and didn't feel too bad about the burger for lunch or the gelato. Apache Trail Photos

Sunday: rested most of the day. I did do a little work, showing a couple homes and taking pictures of two of my listings. In the evening, my daughter Emily ran a mile with me in just under 14 minutes. She's just starting out and doing great. Then I ran another 4.24 miles. My pace was around 12.52 for the entire run. I ran along the major streets (Ray, McClintock and Chandler Blvd.) for the first time. Since, I am doing longer runs, the neighbor hood is just not big enough anymore. One sad note, I passed a cat lying down off the sidewalk. It didn't move when I ran right past it (really close). I think someone lost a friend.

Monday: I won't be running for the next few days. In about one hour I will make my way to the doctors office. There I will be getting minor surgery. Elective. Not a real big deal, but I will be getting a vasectomy. Not real smart doing this during training for a half marathon, but you gotta do it when the insurance will cover it.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Mesa 10K Turkey Trot

My first turkey trot. I think this should become a tradition. It had a start time of 9 am, so I got to sleep in just a bit longer. The course was around Red Mountain Park in east Mesa. 10 kilometers long, which is a first for me too.

There was over 21oo runners, when I was expecting around 800. I was pretty impressed at seeing the sea of bobbing heads in front of me at the start. The weather was perfect, maybe in the high 60's and sunny. I got there in plenty of time to register and saw Maria and Hank, the TnT coaches.

Since it was Thanksgiving Day morning I went out of my way to thank every cop on duty directing traffic as we ran. I, also, gave every kid a high five that wanted one. My plan was to run at a nice even pace for the first two kilometers (1.67 miles) and then take a walk break. After that I just took walk breaks as needed. I wanted to finish in 1 hour, 20 minutes or better. When I checked my nike+ (ipod) for pace time my running pace was at a 1:04 finish. I was fine with that since I knew that my walk breaks would add time. I was feeling fine throughout the entire race. At each mile there was someone yelling the overall time and I had my HRM and Ipod giving me time too. So, I was pretty happy, even though I don't have a way to keep my splits. I guess I'll have to memorize them in the future.

This race I didn't talk with anyone. I just kept my nose to the grindstone and did my best. Which turned out to be better than expected. I finished in 1:10:53, a pace of 11:25. A time I am very happy with at this stage of my running.

I did try to sprint the final 400 meters, but like the New Times race I started too soon and couldn't keep the pace. I think I need to wait until the last 200 meters or less.

All in all, I was very happy with my first 10k event.

Thanksgiving Day Dinner: Turkeys shake in their boots when they see my wife. She made a great dinner for my two kids, my father in law, mother in law and I. Turkey, stuffing, real mashed potatoes, real cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and homemade whipped cream for the pie.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Lot to be Thankful About.

As my family gets ready to celebrate Thanksgiving in the US, I'd like to thank all of you for visiting my blog, commenting and encouraging, allowing me to read you blog and supporting the Leukemia Society.

My list of thanks:

My wife and two children. Life as I know it would not be nearly as rewarding and happy without these three wonderful people in my life. I do not know how I became so blessed.

My parents, brother and sisters. They are always supportive and are always missed, since we live on opposite sides of the country.

My wife's family. When I hear about other people's in laws, I always smile, because I know that I am blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

My Running. An acitivty that has given me focus to get healthier. Just 6 months ago I would have never dreamed about doing the things I have done in running and enjoying it so much.

The Readers and contributers of my blog. I started this blog just for me to read to keep me motivated. I was willing to allow others to see my progress, but didn't realize the impact it would have. Now, with my blog and reading other runner's blogs I can keep my health as a priority in life.

I have many more thanks in other areas of my life, but will just leave this list for running related thanks.

yesterday's run:

5 miles on the Arizona Canal. I started in Old Town Scottsdale and headed west just past the Arizona Falls. It was around 10 am and the temps were pushing 80 f. It was a beautiful day for a run. it took me about 1 hour 1 minute and 6 seconds to complete. I could have gone under an hour, but I had to water a bush along the way.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate and peace to everyone.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

The One Mile Test

My legs felt pretty good today, after the 10 miles yesterday. So, I decided to run a mile and see how fast I could run it.

My daughter ran with me to warm up. She is just starting to run, so we ran one minute intervals with a minute break in between. We did three of them around the block and I figure she and I can do this for the next week or so to get her into the habit of running.

After we were done, I ran my mile. I started with a pace under 9:20, but soon realized I couldn't keep it up for a mile. I slowed to around a 10:30 pace and finished strong to run a 9:59 mile. I really wanted to get under 10. It was actually 1.01 miles according to my nike+. This is a Personal Best.

Friday, I was supposed to run an evening 5k. The Gilbert Days race in Freestone Park. Instead, I had to work. Since, I am a Realtor and only make money when I sell something, work is good. I guess work comes before my running. So, no Gilbert Days run, but I made up for it with the 10 miler the next day thru their parade.

Football Note: The Buckeyes and the Bengals won. Oh yes! Heck, even the Arizona Cardinals won. This has been a great weekend.

Blogger note: I'm curious where people that read my blog are from. I read blogs from over 15 states, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Austrilia and Michigan. I heard someone say that Michigan is part of the US, but I don't believe them. So, if you're reading this please let me know where on this planet your from.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Parade for Me?

Today is the day I wanted to do double digits. 10 miles on the Consolidated Canal. I slept in, so I didn't run with TnT. Just myself at 8 in the morning. I parked at the New Gilbert Center. It is a wonderful place of shops, restaurants and a theatre. My plan was to run south for 2.5 miles or 5 miles round trip. The canal is closed at Chandler Blvd., so I didn't have much choice anyway. This way at the half way point I could stop at my car if needed and resupply. I ended up stopping at the gas station for a bathroom break.

The Gilbert Days Parade was going to be happening soon, so I crossed the street to continue my run as Parade watchers were starting to line the street. I headed north to do my other 5 miles. About 1.5 miles up the canal I ran out of gatorade and decided to turn around and resupply at my car. I figured at my car I would have 8 miles in and then I could just do the final two miles on the southern portion with drinks. I did eat a vanilla gu which I think I like the best.

As I returned to the corner with the parade, the streets were lined with people and the parade was in full stride. It's a parade to celebarate Gilberts early days, so there were lots of horses, cowboys, floats, etc. Very southwest. Ahh, but there was abreak between floats and I needed to cross the street. So, I just kept on running and ran down the street for about 200 feet. I was in the parade at this point. Finally, a few people started clapping for me. "Don't look Ethel", no I wasn't streaking, but I wasn't supposed to be in the parade. It was fun. According to my Nike+ I was running at a 8:30 pace too. I finished my 10 miles on the south side by myself in a time of 2 hours 11 minutes and 11 seconds. A Personal Best for time and distance.

Next year, I just might run the entire Gilbert Days Parade.

Football note: I'm from Ohio and today is a big day. I wore my OSU 2002 National Championship Tee today and one runner did say "Go Bucks" as I passed. It should be a great game today with the team from up north (Woody Hayes would never say the state name). It's a great rivalry and both schools have benefited from it greatly. It'll be great to see the scarlet and grey up against the maize and blue again. And maybe, God willing both teams will meet again in Arizona for the national championship in January.

Go Bucks!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Nike Plus

So let me tell you about two of my birthday presents.

One is a Polar Heart Rate Monitor. You wear a belt around your chest that reads the beats of your heart and a watch that gives you the data. When I'm running I really don't notice the belt, so I do like it. I'm surprised that my heart rate is as high as it gets. I'm usually in the 140's to the mid 150's, but I peak out around 170. It gives me my heart rate at any given time and at the end of the run it gives me the high and average HR and how many calories I burned.

But, it does not give me lap time or splits. So, I did what any body would do. I bought myself a present. It's a Nike Plus for the Ipod. Here's the way it works. I place a sensor in my shoe and a receiver on my Ipod nano. I calibrate it for my running gate and it tells me when I go a mile, what my time and pace is. And it does this while I listen to my favorite tunes. I can get feedback at any point in my run and it will tell me at each mile or kilometer how I'm doing. Then I can download the info to a website and get even more info.

Now, you're supposed to have nike shoes that have a special place to put the sensor. The girl at 'The Finish Line' told me I had to use Nike's. But, I took my New Balances and cut into the mesh, inserted the sensor and tied it closed. It works beautifully. Here's a photo of my Ipod gear.

So, my first run with the Nike Plus was the New Times 5k. I didn't calibrate it before the race, so it was off a bit. The second run with the new gear was a 3 miler, in which, I calibrated the sensor. It worked like a charm. I ran it at a 12:07 pace. The third run was the TnT Track workout tonight. I ran 3.56 miles in a little over 51 minutes. That included the walking time inbetween each 5 minute run.

Movie Time: "You're never too old to go to space camp." The family went to see Stranger Than Fiction, the new movie with Wil Ferrell. This one is well worth seeing.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My Weight Loss

You can get graphs like this here. Click on the graph to enlarge. If you'd like to see a more complete history of my weight lose, you can click on the link to the side of this called: pounds lost.

Monday, November 13, 2006

My favorite blogs

My Favorite Blogs: Down along the side of my blog are links to my favorite blogs. I just added Jenny from southern Wisconsin. Her and her husband have done a tremendous job dieting and running and I thought I would share it with the world. Well, at least with that part of the world that visits my blog.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Waiting for the Chip Time

529 1143 PAT MONAHAN M 45 34:00 10:57 M4549 CHANDLER, AZ

So, I finish around 8:19 am in the morning and had to wait til 7:37 pm to get the chip time. Pretty quick since it was the same day, but it seemed like a long time to me. I thought my time would be above 34:30. It was the first race I ran that used a chip.

For those that aren't familiar with chip timing, it works like this. Since everyone can't cross the starting line at the same time, you wear a radio chip that will time you from start to finish. So, even if you pass the finish line at 34:50, it will adjust your time. I must have started nearly 50 seconds behind the leaders. In longer races it will give you split times too.

My line is above. I finished in 529th place out of 704 runners in the 5k race. The next number is my bib number, then M for male, 45 for age, 34:00 is my official chip time and a Personal Record. 10:57 is my pace per mile. I don't have a clue on the other number. Then my city and state.

I do like to finish strong. I turned the corner onto Mill Avenue (downtown Tempe) and started running as fast as I could. I passed many, but ran out of gas before I got to the finish line. I managed to keep running and luckily no one passed me. Six people finished within 10 seconds of me. I'm pretty sure I passed them just past the corner.

I started the race with Javamom. She started running in July of this year and is doing fantastic. We ran together past the first kilometer. After awhile I went on. She finished in 36:51, a great time for her first race. I have to remember not to let little kids take pictures for me. At least, if I want my entire head in the photo.

More race report to come.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Track Workout

Here's a neat graph. It shows each of my workouts and races graphed at what my weight was on that day.

I've run two races and I was 10 pounds lighter on the second run. Consequently, I ran the second race almost 8 minutes faster. Does this mean, if I lose another 40 pounds I'll finish a 5k before I even start?

Last night I ran with Team in Training (The Luekemia Society) at the Andersen Junior High Track. We ran 6 sets of 5 minute runs with a two minute break in between. I estimate I ran about 3 miles. It was a good workout and a chance to meet some of my teammates.

I'm getting pretty excited about running the New Times 5K this Sunday. It will be the first big race for me. I'll get to run over the Tempe Bridge, Tempe Lake and around downtown Tempe and the ASU Campus. My report to follow.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My 45th Birthday

Yes, back in 1961 I was born on this day. Did you know that if you look at 1961 upside down it's still 1961. See I typed them upside down.

So to celebrate I ran the Western Canal in the morning. 2.5 miles each way up to the Ken McDoanld Golf Course and the power plant. It was a slow run, 1 hour, 7 minutes and 20 seconds, but a good one. I passed a half dozen walkers, a few bikers and I found a golf ball. A Wilson Ultra Competition 90 compression golf ball. During the run, I tried to think of when I played golf last. I can't remember. Given the choice, I'd rather run.

Now to do a bit of work and then Amy and I will go out to lunch somewhere.

PF Chang's RNR Half Marathon Pics:

Just before the one mile mark you come up to the I-10 bridge. You leave downtown Phoenix and turn onto McDowell.

Mariscos is just one of many restaurants along McDowell. Not sure, other than shrimp, what they serve.

Some say this building looks like a roll on deodarant. Maybe it is, since it is the Dial Building. Not sure if Dial still has it's corporate headquarters here, but runners will see all the tall (tall for Arizona) skyscrapers along Central avenue.

Banner Good Samaritan Hospital. Between miles 3-4, but I doubt any runners will be ready for the emergency room.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Arizona Canal

The Hohokam Indians built canals all around the valley of the sun and then disappeared. But, the canals are still hear serving the Phoenix Metropolitain area. There also great to run, bike or hike around. Team in Training runs the Arizona Canal every Saturday morning. Once a month all the TnT groups meet there to run. Today was the day.

This is about one mile west of Granada Park or I-51. Today we did 7.6 miles. I did my run in 1:41:30, the longest run, time wise, for me.

There's underpasses to get you away from traffic and entrances like this one at each major road.

And sometimes shade. But, heck this is Arizona. We don't have much shade.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I passed 200 miles for the year, for my life. It was just yesterday that I was really excited about passing 100 miles. OK, maybe I need bigger milestones. Can't wait to pass 500 miles.

The other milestone was I set a PB for 1 mile. 10:48 on the track at Andersen JH. I set out to see if I could do a 10 minute mile. My first 1/4 was 2:25 followed by 2:35, 2:48 and 2:59. I'm still pretty happy with this PB. Of course, the downside is I felt tired the rest of the run. Since I was running on the track, I lost count of the laps and just ran when I wanted to and walked when I wanted to. All in all, it was a fine night.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Emergency ID

Get your very own emergency info tag to place on your shoes, fanny pack or shorts. If you're ever in any accident, they'll know who to call, what your name is and what your allergies and blood type are. This is on a Finish Line Preferred Customer Card, so you'll also get discounts from the Finish Line. If you purchase $200 worth of items from the finish line in one year, you'll get a $20 gift card too. And while supplies last, you'll get a $10 gift certificate with your shoe ID.
All you have to do is make a $5 donation online to support my running and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. You'll get two (2) ID tags, a Finish Line Preferred Customer Card and (while supplies last) a $10 gift certificate to The Finish Line.