Wednesday, January 31, 2007

8 Months down

It's been 8 months since I started running. I still remember the first day that I ran past about 7 neighbor's homes and then I walked to finish my half mile. That week I ran, but mostly walked every day and I felt like a champ.

Fast forward to today, the last day of January, 2007. I've run 7 races, including a half marathon. I've run in 4 different states, parks, canals, busy streets and quiet neighborhoods. But, what I'm most proud of is the 452 miles I have logged since I started keeping track August 2nd.

This week I ran 5 miles on Monday in 1:01:00 and 3 miles today in 40:17. It's been a busy week and I wish I would have a few miles more, but I'll take what I can.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

New photos from the RnR Half Marathon

I had a disposable camera with me on my run. Here's a photo of me and the Corona del Sol spiritline. My son goes to this school. To see other pictures go to my Rock N' Roll picture gallery. It has pre race pictures of the course and race day pictures too.

Run for the Islands 5K

It's Race Day. After playing softball last night until 10:30 at night, I had to wake up at 6 am to get to the "Run for the Islands 5K". The Islands is a community in Gilbert, AZ. No, islands that I know of in this community, but they do have two lakes. The 5K was an out and back on one of their main roads finishing in a large community park. This race might have reached 150 participants. Not sure yet. I started near the front for a change. This was my first experience near the front so I started by keeping pace with the other runners. At least for the first half mile I was running in the 8:30-9:00 mpm pace. Way to fast for me, but oh well.

I settled down to doing about 10:20 miles. Of course I set my nike + up for a 5K, so it kept giving me kilometer splits. I did the math and figured I needed to be at about a 6:10-6:20 pace to be happy with my race. I liked the out and back because I actually got to see the leaders run back to the finish. The winner was under 18 minutes for the whole race.

With my fast start I needed a walk break around mile 2. I took a few walk breaks but sprinted home passing one runner for a PR of 31:05 or a 10:02 pace per mile. My previous PR at 5k was last December 28th at the Bumble 5K in San Diego. I had a time of 33:16. 2 minutes and 11 seconds faster. As you could guess, I'm pretty excited about that. After I got home and uploaded my nike +, I found out that I also set a personal record in the mile with a time of 9:39. Twenty seconds faster than I did two days before.

Althought this was a small race, they had about 10 vendors set up giving us all kinds of goodies. My two favorites were a bit of chocolate moose from one of those new "dinner" companies that will start your dinner for you and you finish it at home and a mini burger from Simply Burgers.

Now it's just 22 days til the Lost Dutchman Half Marathon. I need to get a 10+ miler in before that race.
Race Update: Out of 161 runners I finished 91. The middle of the pack. Out of 21 men in their 40's, I finished 15th. Before the race I met Roland, another Tnt'er and his son Tyler. They raced together and Tyler took 2 minutes off his PB. Roland and I both parked in the vacant lot across the street. It was just plowed (not sure if they grow anything on it) and it was very soft dirt. His truck got stuck, but he warned me to stay on the harder grassy area. After the race we hooked his truck up to my SUV and I pulled him out. It's the most manly thing I've done with my SUV.
I, also met Noble who ran a 26 minute race and Brian who's just starting to run and is enjoying it. My stats:
91 PAT MONAHAN 45 15/21 M 129 31:05 10:01

Softball Report by Mike (the coach)
What a game tonight. Up 4-0. Not letting them score. Then they have a big inning (thanks, in part, to a bunt, but I digress). The score is now 8-4. We threaten a couple times but can't make anything happen. Last inning. We get them down 1-2-3. Good defense all around tonight. Bottom of the last inning. Down four runs. Jeff nails one and circles the bases. Keri comes close. One out. Angus lays down a nice base hit. Cheryl moves him over. Two outs. Runner on second. Down by three. I finally get one to go the opposite way, Angus scores and I am on third with a triple. Down two. Gina steps up. Nails one. Circles the bases. Tied game. Pat craftily crowds
the plate and draws a walk.
Geri graciously takes first base base.
First & second, two down, tied game. Duane pokes a single up the middle, Pat crosses home plate. We win! That's right, we win!
Of course, most of you know this. But I had to retell it. Already called my brother and Karen. We are now 1-0. Yes, we are already half way to our best win total.
Great start to the season. Thanks for all coming out. See you all next Friday for another late game: 9:30.
By the way, do you all remember that the St. Louis Cardinals won the world series?
SomeBurros Report: Amy and I did have lunch at SomeBurros yesterday. And they don't have anything low cal. Well, diet coke. Anyway, I think I did ok. I ate two chicken tacos. No beans. No rice. A few chips with salsa. I avoided the Fundido, the chimichanga I spoke of. My weight this morning was the same. So, I'll call this a small victory.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Weight Loss

Here's a great article about a man that lost half his body weight.

CNN Article
I get all choked up when I read about great victories like this. One of the things he mentions is to list all the things you cannot do because of your weight and then when you reach your goal, go and do those things.

I plan to start that list. Now he was 500 pounds and I am 229 pounds, so the things I can't do may not be because I can't fit, but because I can't do them well. But, none the less I will make a list.

So, far:

Run a Marathon
Hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
Fit into 34" pants or maybe smaller
Ride a horse (this maybe for the horses benefit)

Soon, I will add to my list. If anyone has any ideas to add to my list, please feel free to let me know.

My Weight:
Last June I weighed 257 pounds. That's about the highest I've ever weighed. On December 1st I weighed 234.1 pounds, a loss of almost 23 pounds. Now I weigh 227.5. Almost 7 pounds in about 7 weeks time and half of that was this past week. I knew I would just try to maintain thru the holidays. That stretched out to until the Rock and Roll Half marathon. Now it's time to shed some pounds and get my weight under 200. Well maybe after lunch, my wife just suggested we go to Someburros for lunch. They have this chimichanga to die for. It is huge with sour cream on top, rice and beans on the side. Hummm, I bet they might just have something low cal too. So, what do you think? Will I eat the Chimichanga or be good and eat something healthier with none of those free chips.

Latest Runs:
Thursday I ran a 59 minute and 23 second 5 miler in the neighborhood. It was great weather. 63 degrees, sunny and I got to wear shorts and a tee. I really like running in shorts instead of my sweatpants. My first mile was in 9:59. It tied my best mile ever back in November. I then ran 2 miles in 22:30, 3 miles in 34;30, 4 miles in 47:30 (another PB). I did do a bit more walking than I would have liked. I believe the bit of sluggishness I experienced was due to the fact that this was the second day in a row of running. I'm trying to run every other day with a back to back mixed in during the week. A run like this is good for the soul.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Girl Scouts

It's that time of year that the Girl Scouts are out selling cookies in Arizona. My daughter has for the past 6 years or so. I was even the cookie mom two years. If, the girls are selling in your neck of the woods, please buy some. It's a great cause. If, you're not eating cookies this year, have the girls donate your purchase to a retirement home.

My daughter has baritone practice on Wednesdays at the high school. So, today I dropped her off and ran in the neighborhood near the school. She told me that when she goes to that school next year as a freshman, I'm not allowed to run near it. Teenagers!

My run was 5.08 miles in 58:11 for a pace of 11:26. I felt great. I only walked once at the 2.5 mile mark for 1/10 of a mile to drink some gatorade. I could have run more, but the baritone lesson was over and we had to get home. It was in the low 60's and sunny. A wonderful day.

So, I'm thinking about running the half marathon at the Lost Dutchman race on February 18th. About one month after the Rock and Roll Half. Is that too soon? Then I want to run the half on March 18th in Tucson. Is that too often? I feel great and I was even thinking about running a half every month this year. Is that too crazy? Let me know what you think.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Greg from North Dakota

I was just logging my weight in on Runner's World's online discussion groups when I read about Greg in North Dakota. His story is worth reading for any of us that are losing weight. He, also runs sub 2 hour half marathons, so I think he's great.

Thanks Greg for sharing.

Greg's Story

Weather: On a side note. It snowed in Phoenix today. Really. Here's the story.

photo courtesy of Michal Chow/The Arizona Republic

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Marathoners Everywhere

I went to a friend's 50th Birthday party last nite. I had a great time because it was the first party after I ran a half marathon. I got to brag a bit.

Then today, at church we're leaving and the guy in front of me says to another couple, "So, did you run the marathon?" It turns out that there was a couple sitting in front of me that ran last Sunday and the couple behind me ran too. That makes 5 runners in three pews.

Today's Run: 4.21 miles in 48:05 at a pace of 11:25. I cut the run short because the rain was coming. It rained all morning and we had a 4 hour window in the afternoon before the rain returned. I am so happy it rained this week and not last week.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Pictures are In

The pictures are in. At the finish my time was 3:17:43, which makes my chip time even better.

To view the pictures go to and look for bib # 39364. For some reason, you might have to copy and paste. Blogger won't allow links to this company.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

First Run after HM

I left home figuring I would do what ever my run dictated. If I walked 2 miles and went in that was ok. I could feel the lingering effects of the half in my upper thighs. My feet felt fine, but I think it's time to replace my insoles. The Spenco's have lasted over 400 miles and have done well by me. My heart rate averaged 152, topping out at 161.

My time? 5 miles in 58:05 for an 11:35 pace. I did turn it up a couple times getting my pace down to about 8:30, but could only hold that for about 30-40 yards each time. I can't wait until I can run sub 9 minute miles.

Thanks. I wanted to thank all of you that have supported me by reading this blog. I really like that I have a wide range of people that visit and leave their 2 cents. If you don't, please do I always like to hear opinions, comments and whatever. If you have a question about running, ask. If I don't know, I'll mention it in a post and I'm sure one of my readers will know.

I'm moving on up

I checked the PF Chang's RnR Marathon website again by clicking any of the blue in the last post and my time improved. I now finished in 2:49:54. If this keeps up, by next month I might be under 2 hours.

I, also found out that I finished in 14,525th place out of 20,245 runners in the half. I finished 815th out of 977 men between the ages of 45-49. I was the 6359 man to cross the finish line.

Half Marathon Official Results

It's still a Personal Record:

Bib FName Age Sex ChipTime ClockTime Overall SexPl DivPl pace
39364 Pat Monahan 45 M 2:51:35 3:20:20 14413 6339 816 13.05

The official numbers aren't as good as I remember. But that's ok because it's not about the number, as much as it is about the experience. And the one thing they can't change is that I covered 13.1 miles. Except for the corner I took on the inside of the cones. But, hey I also ran on the outside of a few corners too.

Notice the difference in chip and clock time. That means, for anyone that hasn't run a chipped time race before, that I didn't pass the start until 28:45 after the gun sounded. So, when I started the leaders where around mile 5 or 6. It would have been a better race, if I would have gotten the 6 mile head start.

Running: Yesterday was a rest day. I'll run a bit later today.

John "The Penquin" Bingham: He's got a column in Runner's World and I've read his book, "The Courage To Start" His big motto is, "The Miracle isn't that I Finished, The Miracle is that I had the Courage to Start".

TnT had him speak at REI last night. About a dozen of us were there. I expected to see a table with books, tapes, marathon info and other stuff to buy. John shows up with none of that. He didn't push anything. He mentioned his marathon in Tucson. He answered all our questions and was very cordial.

At the end, TnT held a raffle for two free entries in the Valley of Gold Half Marathon that is to be run on 3/18 in Tucson. He drew the first number and then said, "what the heck, let's let everyone go for free". They then passed out about a dozen free entries. Thanks, John.

I planned earlier in the day to run this race, so the entry fee waived is a great deal. I'm excited.

Monday, January 15, 2007

400 career miles

I just noticed I reached 400 miles in my last training run before the half marathon. My lifetime mileage is very important to me. I don't feel the high that I got from completeing races such as the half on Sunday, but adding to this total and running on a regular basis is the most rewarding part of this sport.

I'm now up to

Sunday, January 14, 2007

2007 PF Chang's Rock and Roll Half Marathon

I am now a half marathoner. I ran my race and I'm very pleased with the results. I believe I finished around 2:47. My goal was to finish and enjoy the race. I did. I then wanted to finish under 2:50, which I did (I think) and finally I wanted to finish under 2:40. I missed this, but that's ok.

My day started after not getting much sleep last night. I woke at 5:30 am and left the house around 6:10 am. I had a bagel and planned to eat something at the start line food court. I dropped my car off at an ASU (Arizona State) garage, which no one was using. Walked to the north side of the finish area to the other parking, which everyone was using. This must have saved me half an hour. I then got in line for the bus ride to downtown Phoenix. There must have been 1000 people in front of me, but the line went fairly fast, until they ran out of buses. Then we waited. I was talking with two guys from the National Guard cross country team. I didn't even know they had sports in the National Guard. These guys were freezing there butts off. It was near 30 degrees and the sun had not come up yet. I wore sweats over my sweats, a full winter coat, a sweatshirt, gloves and a stocking cap. I planned to have most of that stuff transfer ed by UPS from the start to the finish. It worked out well. The gloves, were mismatched pair that I have had for over 10 years. I ditched them around mile 6. The sweatshirt was a Notre Dame model that I picked up at Goodwill yesterday for $2.48. And that included an older t-shirt from the 2005 Rock and Roll Marathon. Both looked brand new. At Goodwill I met another family that was doing the same thing I was. Buying throw away clothes for the RnR.

We got to the starting line a half hour before the gun. I had enough time to drop off my bag at the UPS truck, go to the bathroom and get in line. I was in corral 19. It took me half an hour to get to the start line. So, when we started, the leaders were probably at mile 6. No first place for us today.

The first 2 miles are through downtown Phoenix. It starts out at the state capitol and winds through a rough part of town. There was about 6 people with signs proclaiming that if you don't follow God, you gonna go to hell. It was interesting to say the least.

Boy, there were a lot of runners. We turned onto McDowell. A lot of people were chatting and having a good time at this point. I was enjoying all the atmosphere and before I knew it I saw the 5k sign and realized that I had run the entire time. I have never run a complete 5k before and I felt great, but it was time to take off the ND sweatshirt. I really liked the deal I got at Goodwill, so it was a bit sad to leave my new sweatshirt behind. I left it spread out on an unused drink table, so that ND fans could see it and be motivated by it.

I walked thru this drink stop and tried the Accelerade sport drink. I think I'll stick with gatorade. So, now I was running with only my TnT shirt and sweats. I had forgotten that I had put my name on my shirt. At this point a lady cheered me on by my name. I staired at her, trying to figure out how she knew me. I'm a little slow, but I figured it out. My name is on my shirt, dummy.

When I got tired I played a game. This was the first run I tried this and it worked pretty well. I would try to name three cities in each state. Some states I can name lots of cities, but the dakotas and Wyoming are tough ones. Anyhow, it kept my mind busy for a while. The other thing I did was ask fellow runners where they were from. I met people from Canada, Kansas City, Arizona, Boston, New York and a few other places.

I also, got a photo of me and Clark Kent while we were waiting to start the race. A fellow racer was dressed in a suit with a fedora that said, C. Kent, Reporter. He said he had Superman Tights on and that he would transform into the man of steel around the 12 mile mark. Pictures to follow soon. I got a picture of me and the Corona Del Sol Spirit line. That is the high school my son goes to. I actually used a disposable camera to take the pictures, so we'll have to wait for them.

At mile 9 I got to see my family. My wife, Amy. Son, Tyler and daughter, Emily were there to root me on. We then raced to the finish. I ran there before they could drive, park and walk to the finish line. Seeing them gave me a boost to the 10 mile mark.

Somewhere around the 10 or 11 mile mark I felt less than perfect. I made two stops at porta-potties, but that did not make me feel any better. I believe I lost a bunch of time between mile 10 and 12.

But all was not lost. I got my second wind as I started over the Tempe Bridge. Tempe Bridge is beautiful and it actually goes over water. A rarity in Arizona. The final mile I was passing people and I had a lot of energy. I believe I was doing about an 11 minute pace, which is pretty good for me.

At the finish I was all alone. There was a group in front of me about 10 yards and a group behind me about 10 yards. I was all alone for the finish photographer and the announcer said my name, mentioned how wonderful Team in Training was and asked me if I was a first time marathoner. With raised arms I said yes and the crowd gave me a pretty good cheer. Unfortunately, my family was still a bit a ways from seeing me. But, they did hear the announcer.

What impressed me most about the race, was the large number of Team in Training coaches and support people on the course. I bet there were TnT people cheering us on every half mile. I'll give you a report on my TnT experience later. But to say the least, the race day support from TnT was phenomenal. I will let them know about what a wonderful job they did today.

TnT also had a huge tent at the finish with drinks, food and seating. But do you know what I liked best at the finish? Spenco, the footcare people gave everyone a pair of slippers. Nice rubber slippers that felt soo much better than my running shoes at that point. I have spenco insoles now and I will continue, because I'm sold on Spenco now.

All in all, Elite racing did a fabulous job with the RnR Marathon here in Arizona and I'm now thinking about doing some of there other races. That is once, my legs and feet feel better.

Weather: We started the race at 30 degrees and finished at 41. The race organizers must have left the bananas out last night, because they were still pretty frozen at the end of the race. The Arizona Republic reported that it was the coldest low in Phoenix since 1990, or before I lived here. So, on the coldest day I've ever experienced in Phoenix, I got to run a half marathon. I actually felt fine until mile 11 when I felt cold and sick. But that was temporary.

Official Time: Elite Racing had some equipment malfunctions. I did not get a split for the 5k or the finish. I saw the clock when I finished read 3:17:xx. I know I started about 30 minutes after the gun. So I know my time is around 2:47-2:48:xx. As soon as I get my finish photo, I should be able to figure out my official time. My split for the 10 k was 1:11:11. 18 seconds off my PR from the Mesa Turkey Trot. My split for the 10.2 mile mark (I don't know why this distance) was 2:09:xx.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

2007 PF Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon Health Expo

On Friday night Amy and I went to the Health Expo at the Convention Center in downtown Phoenix. It was well organized with virtually no lines to get my bib, t-shirt and goodie bag. Lots of vendors and stuff to buy. It was exciting because this is my first big race. It's billed as the World's largest Marathon and Half Marathon. They are expecting up to 39,000 runners in both races.

I, also got to meet Runnergirl (Jennifer) and MNfirefly (Denise). Amy and I met them at Seamus McCaffrey's Irish pub downtown. The four of us had a great time talking about running, blogging and life in general. I will have a picture of the three of us runners soon.

I'm 39364 in the race and will start in corral 19. Hopefully, I will get to the start line before the winner finishes. I plan to take my camera on the run, so expect some more photos. I consider this more of a tour, than a race.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Florida 41 OSU 14

So this week has started out on s sour note. Florida was unbelievable. So was Ohio State. So, what did I do during the game. I ate. and ate. and ate a bit more. Tostitoes, cheese and crackers, chili (the cincinnati kind) and ice cream. Losing football will do this to you.

But hey, it wasn't all bad. Urban Meyer played football at the University of Cincinnati and well, the Buckeyes did beat Michigan and that's the only game that counts anyway.

And it only gets worse. I get up the next morning and my computer screen tells me that it shut down and to expect an iminent disaster. I'm I about to lose everything on my computer. Thank God, my real estate data is saved on a server far far away. So I spend Tuesday spending $1400 on a laptop to replace my computer.

But hey, it wasn't all bad. I got a really cool laptop (Toshiba) and it's way faster than my old desktop.

And then it gets worse. I plug in my Ipod carefully figuring I could save my music. I clicked on the button to save what I had on my Ipod to the computer. I didn't read it and it saved the two pieces of music that comes with Itunes on my Ipod and dumped the rest. Now I have to run listening to Symphony #9 by Scherzo and Highway Blues by Marc Seales.

But hey, it wasn't all bad. We have a lot of CD's. I don't buy them, my wife does and I like some of them, so I'll just put them on my computer.

And then it gets worse. And probably won't get better because

I got tagged
and now I have to. . .
The Rules:Find the nearest book.Turn to page 123.Find the fifth sentence.Copy the next three sentences here.Tag three people.
It's the Baseball Encyclopedia. My third one. I'm really a stats nut.
I won't bore you but the 5th thru 7th line is the 1993 thru 1995 seasons for a San Diego Padre 1st baseman named Archi Cianfrocco. He played in 206 games those three years and batted 241 with 21 homers. He didn't have much of a career, but I'm sure he'll remember it for the rest of his life.
Which brings me back to my week. I may not have had much of a week, but I'm sure I'll remember it for quite some time. And hopefully I'll finish with a great run this Sunday.
I hope all of my readers are having a wonderful beginning to 2007.
Oh yeah, I did run today. 3.1 miles in 35 minutes and 6 seconds. An 11:16 pace on a beautiful day in the desert.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Nike + Problems

I dropped my daughter off at church youth group and planned a run in the neighborhood near our church. It's called Dobson Ranch and it is a master planned community built in the early 1980's. It has several lakes and I ran around the north lake. It was dark, so I didn't see much, but I enjoyed the run.

I started my nike + on my ipod but I didn't get voice prompts. The music played, the time and mileage got recorded. I just didn' t hear the lady tell me my pace and when I reached each mile. When I got home, all the data was lost. I hope this is only a one time problem. We'll see.

Before I lost the data, I did look at it. From memory I did about 4.8 miles in 1 hour and 1 minute and some seconds. I ran a bit better, but in the middle of the run I walked for almost half a mile. I don't know why. I was just enjoying the walk.

This time next sunday I will have done my first half marathon. Before than I will attend a TnT meeting on Wednesday, met several fellow bloggers on Friday, gone to the health expo and carb loaded with the Tnt'ers on Saturday night. On Monday I am going to hear The Penquin, John Bingham speak to a group of TnT'ers.

It'll be a perfect week, especially if the Buckeyes win big tomorrow night. (I grew up in Ohio and my heart is still with my Ohio teams: Buckeyes football, Bengals football & Reds Baseball)

Celebrity Look A Likes

I found this website that will do some analysis of your face and come up with celebrity look a likes for you. I don't know if it is real accurate, but it's fun. Especially when it says you look like James Bond.

Jan 6th run: 3.7 miles at 12:24 pace. Time, 46:01. I ran in a new place. The ASU Research Park is only a mile from my home and it has three lakes with asphalt paths around each. It was very nice, with other runners, walkers, dogwalkers, bladers, etc. And no traffic. The lakes are not connected, so you do have to do some cross country over the roadway to get to each lake or you can just stay on the path for the original lake you start on.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

10 Days to Go

Happy New Year! So, in the first 4 days of the year I've gone from a run in which I spent the entire time thinking I'm a fool for committing to run a half marathon, to a run in which I thought maybe I can do a half to a run today in which I felt great and confident I can run 13.1 miles.

Jan 1 run: 5 miles in 1 hour 1 minute and 34 seconds. Walking way too much with an average heart rate of 148.

Jan 2 run: 5 miles in 59 minutes and 29 seconds. 2 minutes faster and a lot more confident.

Jan 4 run: 5 miles in 57 minutes and 50 seconds. Almost 4 minutes faster than on Monday. An average HR of 157. I felt great and loved the run. The first two miles I did in 22:15, a personal best and the first three miles in 34 minutes flat, a personal best (not counting races).

Now it's just 10 days before the PF Chang's Rock and Roll Half Marathon.