Saturday, October 31, 2009

10K (6.2 Miles) Race Report

My wife is away in New Mexico visiting family so I was all by my lonesome this morning. The race was the Monster Mask 5k/10k at the Sam Houston Race Park. It is about 25 minutes from the house. For breakfast I had a whole wheat bagel with Peanut Butter and a 100 calorie muscle milk I left around 6 am and stopped for some coffee at a gas station and then was on my way.

The temperature when I left the house was 47 degrees. That is downright cold to us Texans so I layered a couple of shirts and a jacket but still wore shorts. I figured I could drop the clothes off at my car before the race started. I got there and the packet pickup was nice and smooth.

The 5k was first at 7:30 and then the 10k at 8:15. I tried to get into the 5k but it was too late and they wouldn't let me do it. So, I just did an easy warm up run while the 5k was going on.

At about 5 minutes after 8am we started lining up for the 10k. I wasn't sure where to line up so I started in the middle of the pack. This was probably a mistake because it took me over a minute to even get to the start line. I was not sure if the time started at the gun or when I crossed the start line. Luckily I had on my Garmin so I started the time when I hit the start line. Now I realized I was actually a lot faster than I thought because I was bobbing and weaving around all the people who started in front of me. After a mile I looked down at my Garmin and saw I did the first mile in 7:50. Not bad considering all the lateral running I was doing passing people!

The 2nd and 3rd mile had us swing back around to the start line and then run under a road and through an underground tunnel and then loop around a lake. We did this twice. Around mile 5 I was feeling a little uncomfortable and my heart rate was at 185 bpm! If this was a training run I would have backed off some but since this was a race I decided to push it! My last mile split was 7:25!

Overall I finished the 6.2 miles in 46:31. This is a pace of around 7:30/mile. Both of these are personal records for me and I was very pleased with my results. The official times or results have not been posted on the website yet but I think I did pretty well overall and in my age group. I passed a ton of people and I was only passed one time the entire race! According to the website there were 920 people registered. I think that included 5k only runners too so I am not sure how many were in the 10k. I will let you know when the results are posted!

Tomorrow morning I am planning on running 15 miles. I feel pretty good now and with the extra hour of sleep (turn back your clocks!) I should be okay. If I wake up tomorrow and feel beat I might postpone the 15 miler!

Thanks for Reading,

*** Update ***
Results are in and I finished 37/320 overall and 9th in my AG. My chip time was 46:20! Not sure how many were in my AG, hopefully that will be updated soon!

Friday, October 30, 2009

10K + 5K Tomorrow

I'm running in a race tomorrow. I signed up for it a few months ago and never really even looked at the website after that. Well, it turns out they are doing a 5k and then a 10k and you can do both events! I am only signed up for the 10k but am going to see if I can register for the 5k in at the race. I am not planning on setting any personal records, just running at a nice smooth pace.

I am going to do 15 miles on Sunday morning so I need to save my legs a little!

Well, off to get some sleep so I can get up bright and early for the race!

Thanks for Reading,


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 7 Mile Run

It is absolutely pouring out right now! Some of the hardest rain I have ever seen. My neighborhood streets are underwater and we have tornado and flood warnings all over the place! This maybe the end of DirecTV for me. Everytime it rains the signal strength goes away and we can't watch TV. Sucks! If only we had the option for Uverse or Fios.

Anywho, Annie and I woke up at 4:30am today to get our 7 mile run in. I opened the door to the backyard to let the dogs out and the heat hit me! It was 76 degrees and the humidity was 85%!!! How does that happen on October 29th? Dri Fit tank top time!

We started our run and it began to rain. It was a welcomed rain because of the heat. It rained for about a 1/2 mile and then stopped and became even more humid ... good times! We ended up sweating our way through and ripping off the 7 miles! Our time was 1 hour and 11 minutes which is a 10 minute/mile pace. The training program called for us to run at a slower pace so this was okay. Annie was really struggling with the heat this morning so we didn't push.

Tomorrow I am going to run 4 miles, probably at the gym because it is supposed to still be raining.

Thanks for Reading,


Wednesday, October 28, 2009 Logs Added

I use to keep track of my workouts. It lets me log swim, bike, run, strength and whatever else I can possibly think of. Then it gives me fancy little graphs that track my total distances and times of each sport by day, week, month and even year.

Personally I find this to be an invaluable tool in tracking my training and knowing when to add or decrease workloads. The reason it is important is because in order to prevent injury us endurance athletes need to know how much volume to increase by. Without this knowledge it is kind of like pissing in the wind! Another reason it is important is so you are able to track if your current training is effective. If you go months and you are not seeing improvements then maybe you need to take a look at your training plans. It gives you all of the cumulative informaton in one simple to read layout that allows for quick but accurate analysis.

And the best part about the BT logs: It is FREE!

Now if you want even more detailed information and even online coaching then you can upgrade your membership for a relatively low price. I am probably going to do this in about a month when I start training for an Olympic level race.

The reason I am bringing this all up today is because I added my volume log as a widget to the right ---->>>

Supposedly it will update as I log workouts. It breaks the workouts down by week and each color represents a different sport as the key indicates. You will notice a considerable drop off in my logs last week while I was sick and resting.

If you are exercising and not logging your workouts anywhere I highly recommend this site. It also has a ton of great articles, training plans, and a very active forum. Check it out!

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: Back in the Saddle ... 3 Mile Run

Sitting here watching "The Biggest Loser" on DVR. I love this show, however, I don't really care for any of the participants this season. Very weird. The last few years I was cheering for some and rooting against some others. This year I am still enjoying it but they all seem to be a very emotional group and I could care less who wins!

Anyways, we got up early in the cool Texas morning - 58 degrees - and had a decent run. It took me about a mile to find a groove. Which is much better than the usual two or three miles it takes me to find said groove! I finished the run in 26 minutes. My legs felt absolutely wonderful and I could have easily ran 10 more miles, but I jumped back into the Higdon training plan. Today is 3 miles, tomorrow is 7 miles, Thursday is 3 again! On Saturday I am doing a 10K at the Sam Houston Race Way which is 6.2 miles and then on Sunday I am going to do 15 miles! The 10K is at a race track and costumes are encouraged and I own a Ricky Bobbie race suit from a previous Halloween. I keep picturing the end of Talladega Nights when Will Ferrell sprinted to the finish against the Frenchy. I cannot think of a more appropriate time to wear my Ricky Bobby costume!

Whoa ... getting a little misty in the room ... I am now rooting for Abby on The Biggest Loser. No spoilers but this woman lost her husband and two small children in a car accident. Wow!

Tomorrow is a 7 mile run. I have to leave the house by 7am so I will opt to do the run in the evening. Weather is supposed to be great again so it should be fun!

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Still Resting ... sort of

Well, I was planning on a nice refreshing 10 mile run this morning but a two day headache has turned into a full-blown cold and I am sort of miserable!

The last few days have done wonders for my body. My legs feel beyond fresh and my whole body just feels relaxed. All of the online training programs and running and triathlon magazines always talk about the importance of taking time off to recover. I have never really believed in this notion mostly because I am a stubborn numskull.

I am that guy who will see someone get banged up or hurt and when they start complaining I usually show zero sympathy. My first response is to explain the difference between, "being injured" and, "being in pain" ... in my mind these are two completely different things. Usually if you are still playing it is just a "pain" if you are being carted away by medical personal then you are "injured"! So once we determine they are injured I tell them to, "Shut up, man up, rub some dirt on it, lets go .." I also us this old-school rationale on myself. As a matter of fact the "they and them mentioned above is code for "me". Probably not the best attitude in the world but it works to keep me going.

Oh, and if you haven't already connected the dots I am also the guy who thinks not keeping score at your kids soccer games is a bunch of shit. People win and people lose, and letting children experience both sides will make them a more complete and well-rounded adult.

Back from that sidebar - I've learned to take a break every now and again and the advantages are that you will come back even stronger then before and be able to push your body even harder.

Hopefully this little sickness will be gone by Monday and I can start up running on Tuesday morning!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Few Days Off...

Hey guys,

I am a little burned out right now. I have been working incredibly long hours and my body is just exhausted. Was thinking about jumping back into it today but my body is telling me to take a break. I have been going hard for about a year now and have not really stopped to relax. So, my plan is to rest up until Sunday morning and jump back into it with a nice refreshing long run.

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, October 19, 2009

Rest Day

Well today was just a great day to take a rest! Our weather is absolutely beautiful (not that I was able to take advantage of it but still!) and I think I might be developing a bit of a cold. Not surprising after such a chilly day at the Tri yesterday. I felt it coming on last night and started slamming vitamin C and green tea and am hopeful that it will pass.

Tomorrow I am getting back to the Hal Higdon marathon training program with Annie. I am going to stick with this training until the beginning of December when I will begin training for an Olympic distance Triathlon. Since I did a Tri yesterday I did not do the scheduled 13 mile run. Annie did it herself yesterday afternoon and she had a time of 2:09. That is a 9:57/mile pace. I am proud of her for not only the great time but for doing the run by herself. Next week we will do 14 miles together!

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Race Report

I am planning on breaking this sucker down from start to finish so bear with me!

The race was the 17th Annual Try Andy's Tri in Sugar Land Texas. The course featured a 300M Open Water Swim in First Colony lake, a 10 mi bike ride on fairly flat roads, and a 5k run on roads, park paths and a grass finish. 800 Triathletes participated this year.

Annie and I got out of bed at 4am today. The race was about 45 minutes from the house and we both wanted some breakfast before we left. I loaded up all my gear into Annie's SUV and we were on our way. We had to park about 1/2 mile away from the race and the first thing we noticed when we got out of the car was that it was FREEZING! It was 50 degrees with a cool wind! Now I know all of you non-Texans will laugh when I say 50 degrees is freezing, but two things you must remember. First, we have tons of humidity so 50 degree here feels like maybe 40 degrees elsewhere. Second, our average temperature is 90 degrees and our bodies do not react well to cold temps. I used to live in the Pennsylvania mountains and 50 degrees used to be shorts and t-shirt weather. In Texas 50 degrees is cause to break out the parkas!

So we walked the 1/2 mile pushing my bike in the dark with a couple of hundred other people doing the same thing. I immediately got body marked (number and age on shoulder and leg with a sharpie) and headed over to the transition area to get my gear and bike ready. This transition area was a lot smaller than my last Tri and we were pretty tight. I travel light so I took my small space and walked the transition area with another guy to figure out where we were coming in and out. I was in an easily locatable bike rack which is a good thing!

So now it is about 6:30 am and the race doesn't start for another hour and my wave does not go off until 20 minutes after that. I find Annie and we walk around to keep warm. At this point I am in my Tri shorts with sandals and a lightweight windbreaker. It is not doing a good job at windbreaking!

After spending an hour shivering the race begins. You have to swim out about 50 meters to the start position and tread water until it is time to start. I jump in the water and it is awesome! The water temperature is about 25 degrees warmer than the air temperature. I also learned that this was the first time in the 17 year history of this race that the water temperature was cool enough to be wetsuit legal! It needs to be below 78 degrees per USAT rules. I decided to start in the back middle of the pack of about 100 swimmer to avoid getting the stuffing beat out of me. This worked out pretty good for me. The beginning of the swim was very comfortable. I found some open water and was on my way. About 100 Meters in I had a guy swim into me from the side. No idea where he came from but I just kept going and didn't pay him a second thought. The real fun began with about 75 or so meters to go when I got squarely kick in the stomach by a guy doing the breast stroke. Now most of you have probably seen a breast stroke and most of you know that the leg kick on a breast stroke is quite violent - I can now give you independent verification that it is, in fact quite violent! This caught me by surprise because I did not see the guy. But what caught me by surprise even more was the the other two guys right next to this guy doing a breast stroke. So I have about 75 M to go and three guys are blocking me just breast stroking away. I tried to swim around them and by the time I did I was at the shore. At least I got out of the water before them but they easily coast me a minute or so. People over at the forum always complain about breast strokers and I never really understood why. Now I do!

Now I am out of the water and jogging to the transition area and this is when I notice that I am wet and it is still freezing! My lungs were burning each time I took a gasp of cool air and it was uncomfortable. I easily found my bike and started to get ready. I forgot to dry off my feet before I put my socks on and this was rather problematic as my socks wouldn't go on. So I had to get the towel and pat them dry. After I did get them on I had trouble getting my cycling jersey, you'd think I would have learned about drying off from the socks situation but I did not! After a slow transition I clipped in and was on my way.

I started out very strong on the bike averaging about 20 mph for the first mile. I was having trouble drinking my gatorade because my lungs were still burning from the cool air. Then about 1.5 miles in something not very fun happened: both my calves cramped. It happened so fast I almost fell of my bike. It hurt like hell. I got out of the aero position and stood up off the saddle and tried to stretch. This helped as the cramping stopped but for the rest of the ride every time I went onto aero position the calf cramps would come back. So I unfortunately had to stay off the aero bars. At about mile 8 my calves seemed better so I hammered it for the last two miles but I lost a considerable amount of time not being able to get in aero. Sort of frustration but I still had a decent ride considering my legs were not 100%.

Okay, now I am coming into T2 and am just about at the dismount line. I unclip my right foot and start to slow. I then go to unclip my left foot and my left calf cramps again. I cannot unclip and I am leaning left. Yep, down I went right in front of a few hundred people. The good news is that before I fell my left foot came out and I put my knee down. The reason that this is good is because it prevented my bike from hitting the ground and getting scratched up. However, it did not prevent my left knee from getting tore up on the concrete or my right calf getting gashed by the chain - good times and hello neosporine!

After my demonstration of grace and poise I jog my humiliated carcass to the rack and put on my Asics and take off running - in the wrong direction! I see others running the other way and I put two and two together and turn around. Now I get about 100 yards down the running trail and make the decision to stop and stretch out my calves on the curb. I figured I needed to do this or they were going to bother me the entire run. After the first mile they felt better and I ended up have a very enjoyable and comfortable run. Good call on stretching. I had my Garmin on for the run and when I hit the finish line it said 25 minutes flat. Not a bad run.

Overall my time was 1 hr 14 minutes and I finished 333/800. I haven't seen the splits other than my Garmin for the run but my guess is that the swim was between 7:30-8:00 minutes. The bike was around 34-35 minutes (could go check my Cateye but it is in the garage and the pugs are laying on my lap) and the transitions were probably around 5-6 minutes (I need to practice transitions).

If I had to do it over again the main thing I would have done different would have been to dress warmer before the race. Because of the cold I was really tight getting into the water and this surely led to my calves cramping up. I stretched like a madman before my wave but it didn't do much considering I stood around shivering for an hour and a half. I noticed a lot of people stopping and stretching during the run so this apparently wasn't isolated only to me. Live and learn!

Despite a tumble on the bike and some pretty painful leg cramps I had a great time. The swim portion was actually the most enjoyable part of the Tri for me today. This is significant to me because my last Tri it was not enjoyable at all! I could have easily continued swimming for a much longer time. My least favorite part was getting out of the water and into the cold!

That is my report. Thanks for reading the entire thing and let me know your thoughts!


P.s. - Pics below!

Pics from Try Andy's Tri

My Sleepy Pug Ernie at 4am!

The lake at sunrise! Very cool!

A freezing Jeff before the race!

First Wave -- Blind Triathletes were competing -- very cool!

Swim Start - I'm the one with the blue hat!

Leaving T1

Beginning Run

Running hard to the finish!

After the race, getting the QR ready to go home

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Triathlon Tomorrow

Sorry I have been away for the last couple of days. Working like a dog!

Anyways, I was able to get in a run yesterday morning of 3 miles in a moderate paced 26 minutes. I could have went longer but with the Tri coming up tomorrow I decided not to over do it. I want the legs to be fresh!

So today I had to go work a CE class in South Houston. After working another one at MD Anderson yesterday I am about CE coursed out. These things are long and boring and I am exhausted after two days in a row. As I have mentioned I was unable to sign up for this Tri because it sold out really early. So the run shop that is sponsoring the event sales packets that were not claimed. The good news for me is that they are located right down the road from were my class was today. So, I walked right in and got a packet and am good to go!

I got home around 6pm and immediately grabbed my Tri bag and loaded up all the necessities: Asics, clipless shoes, body glide, socks, goggles, race belt, tri shorts, bike jersey, transition towel, flip flops and a change of clothes. I also got all my bike gear ready to go and am ready for tomorrow. We are planning of leaving around 5am tomorrow!

Wish me luck! I'll be back with a full race report tomorrow evening!

Thanks for Reading,


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cross Training: Cycle Day

My plan was to run 6 miles on the treadmill this evening that is called for on the Hal Higdon Marathon Plan. Then I remembered that I am not training for a marathon and I have a Triathlon on Sunday! I needed to get some time in on my bike!

I have added two new toys to the bike and really wanted to get used to them before Sunday.

Toy #1 - Profile Desigh Aerodrink System:This is placed between my aero bars on the QR. The sucker is 32 ounces and allows me to drink while I am in the bent over aero position. I just filled it up with water tonight but on race day it will house Gatorade. It took me a little time tonight to get used to drinking while in the aero position but I think this is going to be an awesome way to stay hydrated!

Now this little beauty is a wireless speedometer, odometer, tripometer, clock and a bunch of other yet to be learned functions. We'll call it the bike computer. Now I have a Garmin FR 305 that I use for tracking my mileage and it also shows my speed. But with the Garmin on my wrist it is a pain to see the speedometer. The Garmin offers an attachment for the bike but this CatEye is about a 1/3rd the size and looks so much better mounted on my stem! Now this thing is nice. It is very accurate and the read out is very easy to see!

I am going to get another ride in on Friday but so far the new toys are cool!

In learning the new computer I reset the entire device by accident and have no idea how long I rode for? I am guessing it was probably 12-15 miles but it doesn't really matter since I was playing around with the new equipment!

Tomorrow morning is another 3 mile run!

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 3 Mile Run

The Higdon Plan called for a 3 mile run this morning. Normally 3 miles would be pretty easy but when Annie and I walked outside in the dark and the humidity was about 100% the run became much more challenging!

I was sweating about 10 yards into the run! We were hopeful this humidity had passed after the cool weekend but it came screaming back this morning!

Anyways, Higdon calls for an easy/comfortable run so we ran around a 9:45 pace. My legs were still a little tender after the 12 miler from Sunday. Not sore or tired, but I could tell they were a little "off".

Tomorrow is a 6 mile run. I have an early morning scheduled for work so I am going to have to do this in the afternoon. Annie has to work late so she is going to go in the morning. If it is still crappy outside I might have to go to the gym and hit the treadmill.

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, October 12, 2009

Cross Training Day: 1000 Meter Swim

I had one of those awful, tossing and turning type of nights! My body felt exhausted but for some reason I just could not fall asleep? And because of the crappy night of sleep I was off pretty much the entire day!

I had an afternoon conference call that lasted until about 4:30 and then it was off to the gym for a swim. I have a sprint triathlon coming up on Sunday so I really wanted to focus on form, breathing and sighting. The swim portion of the Tri is only 300 meters so I decided to do 300 meters in the pool at while breathing every other stroke on my right side. This is 12 laps in the 25 meter pool. I used the lap clock and after the 12 laps my time was 6 minutes and 5 seconds. That is a little over 2 minutes per 100 meters which for me is a pretty decent time. Now I probably won't be able to maintain this pace in the open water of the lake on Sunday but it is a nice confidence booster to hit that time!

Then for the next 700 meters I would do ten easy strokes focusing on my form and then look up to work on sighting. Then repeat! After I hit lap 40 I decided to call it a day. My legs, ankles and feet were feeling some fatigue from yesterday's run.

Tomorrow is a running day. Annie and I will get up early to do it but I am not sure what we are supposed to do? We switched over the the Hal Higdon training program and she has been planning it all out and I think took it to work with her? Guess it will be a surprise! Probably be a 4-5 mile run.

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, October 11, 2009

1/2 Marathon Training: 12 Mile Run

The alarm goes off at 6am and Annie and I hit the snooze button 6 times! Yes, every 9 minutes the buzzer went off and we could not get out of bed. Partly because the weather dropped down to the mid-50's and it was cool but also because we were both tired!

Anyways we managed to drag our butts out of bed and decided we would do our run on the Kingwood Greenbelt trails. These are a series of paved trails that run along the roads and through the woods for like 75 miles. We needed a change of scenery and it ended up being a lot of fun running a different route! And since we got up so late it was actually light out when we were running ... I like the wee hours of the morning better. Less traffic and less people!

It was completely overcast and drizzling which ended up being the best running weather ever! With each week we are adding distance and also trying to figure out our nutritional needs so we can be prepared on race day. Annie and I split a whole wheat bagel when we woke up and had some water as well. During the run we each had 2 packs of GU vanilla bean gel and 20 oz of Gatorade. That is roughly about 200 calories an hour which seemed to be about right for this distance. I felt good during the run and good after so I am starting to feel pretty good about the fuel intake!

The run itself was really solid. We parked at a Walgreens and started off down the greenbelts. We ran through the lake park and then all the way to the back of Kingwood. Then looped around and came back to the front. We did the 12 miles in 2 hours and 5 minutes which is about a 10:40/mile pace. As required by the training plans (both Higdon and RW) we run this long day at about 75-80% of raceday pace. This way you add the distance on your legs and build up your aerobic base each time out. So far, so good! At this distance I could have maintained about a 9:30/mile pace and still would have felt pretty good. I'd like to be able to maintain a 9:00/mile pace so I still have some work to do!

Tomorrow is going to be a swimming day. I have some early appointments so I am going to bed right now!

Thanks for Reading,


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Garage Sale Day

As I mentioned yesterday we had our annual neighborhood garage sale this morning. Over 200 homes participated and it was estimated between 2500-3000 people showed up for the event! It was a freaking circus!

Annie and I stacked all of our junk in the garage last night so we could place it in the drive way in the morning. No sooner than I hit the garage door opener were people in my garage picking through our things. This was at 6am and it was still pitch dark outside! People are crazy. The good news is we sold a ton of our old fat clothes and actually made a few bucks!

We shut it down around 12:30 pm and I had some work stuff that needed to be completed at the sales office. I was then driving back home around 4pm today and proceeded to get a speeding ticket. Just wonderful!

At least I know how to spend the garage sale money. When I got pulled over I was concerned at first because I had a concealed heater strapped to the square of my back. I handed the officer my carry permit and drivers licenses and told him I was carrying. He said he thought it was great and more citizens should protect themselves in this manner. We then had a nice conversation about handguns and I was real hopeful at this point that he would just give me a warning! Well, he did not and I can't blame him because I was speeding. He was just doing his job.

Anyways, as I mentioned yesterday, today was our normally scheduled long run but because of the garage sale and both Annie and I had to work in the afternoon we would be switching it to Sunday. Sunday is normally Annie's off day and I use it to do some biking but once again my biking is getting axed. I really need to get an indoor trainer so I can do this in the dark. Too bad the garage sale money cannot go towards that!

We are going to get up early and pound out the 12 miles on the greenbelt trails of Kingwood! We are tired of running around the neighborhood so we decided to switch it up some.

See y'all tomorrow!

Thanks for Reading,


Friday, October 9, 2009

1/2 Marathon Training: 3.1 Mile Run + Programming Notes

I woke up today and my back was feeling so much better. I did some more intense stretching, ala P90X warm-ups, and actually had a little sweat going before stepping outside and this really made me feel good!

According to the weather report we were supposed to have had a cold front move through last night and the humidity was to be drastically reduced. Well, I walked outside with the pugs and this was not the case! Brutal humidity - 84 degrees at 6am! Probably a good thing because the back will stay looser with this weather. However, shortly after the run the front came through and is still coming through and the temperature is 62 degrees right now. That is freezing for us Texans! I am wearing jeans and a long sleeve shirt right now.

Anyways, my next decision was do I just do the light 30 minute run that is planned for my 1/2 mary training program or do I bust ass and see what pace time I can do for the 5k? Coming off some back pain the easy 30 minute run was, without question the right answer. But if you are a frequent reader of my blog you probably know already that I did the bust ass 5k sprint!

Yep, I started off fast and it was a killer. I got the HR up to 170bpm in the first mile and by mile two it was up to 178 bpm! I have been doing a lot of aerobic base training lately and the uncomfortable anaerobic zone accounted for about 85% of my run today. Hard but awesome! According to my Garmin 305 my time for the 3.1 miles was 22:06. That is a PR for me in a 5k by more than a minute and my middle mile was done in 6:52. Which is the first time I have done a sub-7 minute mile since I started running.

One mistake I made was that I did not bring any hydration with me. I figured that it was such a short distance that I wouldn't need any water or Gatorade --WRONG! By the time I finished mile 2 I was freaking thirsty. I am talking dry mouth, heaving thirsty! My last mile was 8:10 and I think I lost at least a minute because I was dehydrated. Normally that distance shouldn't really need that much hydration but I completely disregarded the humidity and that was a mistake. Oh well. live and learn!

So a couple of developments in the training department here in my household! Annie has decided that she is going to do the Austin Marathon as opposed to the Austin 1/2 Marathon on Feb 14th. I am proud of her and plan on helping her train as much as I can. I am still planning on doing the 1/2 mary. My reason for not doing the full distance is that I have committed to doing an Olympic Distance Triathlon in April. The swim portion of this Tri is an Ocean swim in the Gulf of Mexico. I cannot devote all of my training time to running if I plan on surviving the OWS in the Gulf. I'd like to do the marathon but am concerned the beating it will put my body through would adversely effect my Tri training. I might change my mind down the road but for now my focus is on Triathlon.

Another programming change is that since she is now doing a marathon we are ditching the Runner's World 1/2 Marathon Training program and picking up the Hal Higdon Marathon Training program on week 7. This pretty much starts where we are right now so the transition should be rather seamless. I plan on doing this until my Tri plan begins in December.

Also, I just ordered a new Garmin Forerunner 305 for Annie. When we run together we only need one but since she has committed to the Marathon I thought this would be a nice surprise gift for her to help keep her motivated! They are on sale at for $139.99, if anyone is interested. This is an awesome price for an awesome training device! Oh, if anyone reading this knows Annie don't mention it to her - Thanks!

Tomorrow is our normally scheduled long run (12 miles this week) but we are having a community wide garage sale (200 Homes are participating) that starts at 6am and we need to get rid of some junk so we are taking tomorrow off and doing the long run on Sunday morning instead. I might try and get a bike ride in tomorrow if I have time.

Thanks for Reading,


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Rest and Recovery

Doing better today. The back is still a little tight but I have been taking care of it all day. We have a run scheduled for tomorrow morning. It is only a 30 minute one so I am going to easy into it! I really wanted to sprint a 5k tomorrow but that is probably not the smartest thing to do! Never really been that smart.

Thanks for Reading,


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

1/2 Marathon Training: Back Pain

We got up early again today and I was feeling really tight. Probably not a surprise after swimming as much as I did yesterday.

We walked outside and if humidity was ranked on a scale of 1-10 it would have been an 11. It was just awful. So we started our run and immediately I was having some problems with my breathing and my back. It was about midway up on the left side. Everytime my left foot hit the ground the back would throb and my right pec muscle would tense up. I made it maybe a 1/4 of a mile and had to stop. I tried to stretch out my back and run some more but I just couldn't. I walked back to the house and took a hot shower and tried to stretch out some more. Really didn't help.

Annie got back from her run and rubbed my back a little and said it was like a softball was in there!

As many broken bones and injuries as I have had over the years luckily enough I have never had any back problems so this is kinda odd. I am not real sure what to think of this. I am hopeful it is just a minor ache and will go away with a rest today. As I sit here and type it is still pretty sore. Going to have to sleep on it and apply some more heat and see how I feel in the morning. The only good news is that the chest isn't really bothering me right now.

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cross Training Day: 2500 M/100 Laps

Today was another busy day with work. My nutrition was pretty good so by the time I made it to the gym this evening I still had a nice reserve of energy stored up.

After a light stretch - mostly rotator cuff - I jumped in the pool with a goal of 60 laps or 1500M. I started off doing a couple of easy 4x100's using bilateral breathing. My Total Immersion form feels so good when I use the bilateral breathing but for some reason I just don't feel as though I move as fast compared to breathing on my right side every other stroke.

So I decided to time myself on the next two 100's. The first was bilateral. My time was 2:05. The next 100 was using right side only, every other stroke. My time was 1:55. For some reason I am just able to explode more breathing every other stroke. But it wears me out more than bilateral does? Going to continue to do both.

After my little time trials I just did moderate paced laps until I hit 60 total. My quads were feeling a tight so I went and sat in the hot tub for about 10 minutes. After that I was still feeling pretty good so I figured I'd rip off another 20 laps. I was pretty whipped out but for some reason I wanted to see if I could do another 20? The first 10 went okay. The second 10 almost ended me. When I finally finished I sat on the steps of the pool for a good 5 minutes just to regain some composure! Very good workout! 2500M is 1.55 Miles .... a 1/2 Ironman is 1.2 miles ... hmmm?

Tomorrow is a 50 minute run at an easy pace. Going to shoot for around 5.5 miles. On Friday I've decided to do a 5k as fast as I can. No real reason except for Boomer got me thinking about it and I want to see my time!

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, October 5, 2009

1/2 Marathon Training: 4.76 Miles/ 46 Minutes

This morning was a scheduled 45 minute run for the 1/2 mary training program. We woke up and it was raining lightly. Overall it was a pretty decent run. The pace was a 9:40/mile and I sprinted the last 3/4 of a mile to get the HR going. I got it all the way up to 171 bpm!

I actually am enjoying running!

Tomorrow is a cross training day and I am going to try and swim in the evening.

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, October 4, 2009

P90X Stretch X & Rain

Oh well - some days mother nature just doesn't cooperate with your plans - what are you to do?

I woke up around 7:30 this morning. Which is crazy because I went to bed at 9:30 last night! I usually never sleep that long but when I woke up I felt great! A little sore but completely rested. Now I didn't set an alarm like usual and just figured I'd wake up when ready. Part of the reason I snoozed so long was that when I did finally get up it was still pretty dark outside. It was raining. Not a thunderstorm or a torrential down pour which is very common to us Houstonians but a mere shower.

Now I planned on driving down to Huffman with my bike to bust it up on a hard 10 mile ride, but I really didn't want to do this in the rain. I can't say I really mind the rain but it can be dangerous for us bikers. Drivers have lower visibility and the skinny tires on the Tri bikes become slick. I just figured I'd wait until a little later in the morning until it stopped raining. Well, the morning came and went and it was still raining. Then the afternoon came and went and it is STILL raining. The one good thing that has come from this experience is that I have decided to save up and buy an indoor trainer for the bike. This would be a perfect item for watching football all day on Sundays - I could do Century Rides in my living room! Not sure which trainer yet but if anyone has any suggestions I am all ears.

With the day being a washout, literally. I still wanted to do something. My legs and hips were feeling some of the residual effects of yesterday's run and because of that doing anything high impact was out so I did --- P90X Stretch X!

It has been months since I have done Stretch X and after doing it all I can think of is that the rain must have been a sign from above! I mean I feel so freaking good right now. Especially my ankles, calves, hamstrings, and quads. I guess I didn't even realize how tight I actually was until I am no longer. That may not make sense but just know that Stretch X is just what I needed!

Well, I am in the middle of watching my Steelers kick the stuffings out of the Chargers right now. It is only the first quarter but they are finally looking like the Super Bowl Champs from last season. Now they just have to close! Here we go Stillers!

Tomorrow is a 50 minute easy run with a 5am wake-up call!

Thanks for Reading,


Saturday, October 3, 2009

1/2 Marathon Training: 10 Mile Run

The alarm clock went off at 4:30 am, I promptly hit the snooze button. Nine minutes later I was up and trying to explain to Annie what the heck was going on! She finally came around and we each had a slice of toast with peanut butter. I loaded up my water bottles with a 1/2 concentration of Gatorade, strapped on the Garmin, and slowly walked out the door!

The beginning of every run is always the worst for me. I keep looking at my Garmin to see my distance and pace and say things to myself like, ".5 miles down only 9.5 to go!" ... yes I am that brutal on myself (-:

After about 2 miles I was able to settle in for what turned out to be a refreshing 1:47 minute jaunt through my dark and quiet neighborhood. As my buddy Boomer has mentioned in many of his posts, hydration and nutrition are key on long training days. About every two miles I would take in a few ounces of gatorade and at mile 6 I had myself a vanilla GU gel. By the time I was done with the 10 miles I was ready for breakfast but overall I felt pretty good and plan on maintaining this type of nutrition in the future.

On Sunday when I did a 9 mile run I averaged a 9:40 minute/mile pace in awful humidity. Today I averaged a pace of 10:26 in perfect weather conditions. This had nothing to do with the distance and more to do with the fact that Annie was pacing today and my legs were starting to feel the effects of the 25 miles that I had already run this week! So that means since Sunday I have accumulated 35 miles. The main reason for this increase is because last week my long run was done on Sunday instead of Saturday, thus making it appear that I have increased my mileage way to aggressively. That is not the case because if I take that 9 mile Sunday and add it to last week I would have done 22 miles last week and 25 miles this week.

Now, a lot of you maybe reading this and saying to yourself, "why the heck does Jeff count all his miles? Who cares, just run!"

Well, a couple of reasons. First, I am anal. Second, I have found that if you plan your workouts in advance it is much easier to hold yourself accountable. If you didn't have a workout planned it is much easier to take a "day off" as opposed to "missing a scheduled workout" .... Semantics? yes. Effective? YES.

Thirdly, when it comes to any type of increased physical workload increases, especially running, it is important to know your mileage stats in order to know how much to increase so you can prevent injury. Studies (and personal experience) have shown that increasing mileage too quickly can result in injuries. Running is very hard on your body - joints and muscles in particular - and your body needs significant time to get used to the added workloads. In running the general rule of thumb is to increase by only 10% each week.

Anyways, today's run was fun and I could have easily went another 3 miles that would be required for a 1/2 Mary. Tomorrow morning I am going to try and go all out on my Tri bike for 10 miles to see what kind of time I can average. I have a Triathlon coming up on Oct 18th and it is only a 10 mile bike ride. I need to see where I am.

Thanks for Reading,


Friday, October 2, 2009

1/2 Marathon Training: 30 Minute Easy Run

So today called for an easy 30 minute run. We woke up a little later than we wanted. Mostly because we had some crazy storms around 3am that woke me up time and time again and I was tired ... Annie slept right through the storms but didn't debate when I hit the snooze a few times!

When Annie and I did finally roll out of bed I looked at the outdoor thermometer and saw it was 65 degrees and got excited to go run! We ended up doing 3.4 miles over 32 minutes. It was a nice easy pace and my legs feel ready to tackle the scheduled 10 mile run tomorrow

I just weighed myself about 20 minutes ago and was a lean 154 lbs with a BF% of 13%. About a month ago when I was alternating P90X weight lifting and cardio and taking supplements my weight was 163 lbs. This running really takes the weight off!

Also I have been keeping my training stats over at and here is my mileage totals for September:

Bike: 4h 28m 51s - 77 Mi
Run: 12h 56m 07s - 79.66 Mi
Swim: 2h 25m - 4616.8 Yd
Strength: 7h 00m

I am pretty happy with my Run totals. This month I am trying to get over 100 miles running. The strength totals are going to go down and this will help add time to my swim and bike. I really enjoy the Training logs!

Tomorrow is a 10 mile run!!!

Thanks for Reading,


Thursday, October 1, 2009

1000 Yd Swim & 3.1 Mile Run

I was feeling bad about missing my workouts yesterday so I decided to hit it hard today. I was going to get up early and run outside but when I did I decided it would be nice to swim too.

So I went to the gym and got in 1000 yards in the pool. I decided to work on speed so I did a bunch of 2x50 interval sprints and finished with a couple of slow 2x50 to cool down and reclaim my form.

I then hit the locker room, showered up and jumped on the treadmill. My starting pace about a 9 minute mile but then I became increasingly bored and upped the pace. The whole reason was because I was so bored on the treadmill that I wanted to finish faster! Ended up doing 3.1 miles in 24:46 minutes. Not a bad time but I should have started harder!

Tomorrow Annie and I are going to run at an easy pace for 30 minutes. Then on Saturday we have a 10 mile run scheduled. The good news is that a cold front is coming through and the temperature is going to be in the high 70's, but it is supposed to rain.

Thanks for Reading,