Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Getting Ready for the Next Step

Court went well this morning. As I was getting ready to leave, my 6 year old daughter asked if I would be helping deaf people at the "hearing." Ironically enough, my client happens to be a sign language teacher. I'm really looking forward to my final C25k run tomorrow morning (it was supposed to be today, but I pushed it back because of the court conflict). After I graduate from C25k, I plan to get underway with the One Hour Runner program. It is as follows:

Week 1: Run 30 minutes, 30 minutes, 30 minutes
Weekly total: 90 minutes
Week 2: Run 30 minutes, 30 minutes, 30 minutes
Weekly total: 90 minutes
Week 3: Run 30 minutes, 30 minutes, 30 minutes
Weekly total: 90 minutes
Week 4: Run 30 minutes, 29 minutes, 35 minutes
Weekly total: 94 minutes
Week 5: Run 30 minutes, 32 minutes, 38 minutes
Weekly total: 100 minutes
Week 6: Run 30 minutes, 33 minutes, 41 minutes
Weekly total: 104 minutes
Week 7: Run 30 minutes, 34 minutes, 45 minutes
Weekly total: 109 minutes
Week 8: Run 30 minutes, 36 minutes , 49 minutes
Weekly total: 115 minutes
Week 9: Run 30 minutes, 38 minutes, 54 minutes
Weekly total: 122 minutes
Week 10: Run 30 minutes, 40 minutes, 60 minutes
Weekly total: 130 minutes

I'll do the "long run" as my weekend run, which means that even at Week 10 my weekday early morning runs should never be longer than 40 minutes. This, plus the 5 minute warmup walk and 5 minute cooldown walk, will just about fill the one hour that I have available in the morning. I think this is doable, and I'm excited to get going with it!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Court Conflict

Tomorrow was to be my big C25k graduation day, but it just occurred to me that I have to be in court in West Palm Beach for an 8:45 AM hearing. I don't think I'll have time to do my run in the morning, as a result. Nor will I really be able to do it in the evening, since I have a late client and I probably won't be home until 7 PM or so. Still, it's just one day - nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Couch to 5k: Week 9, Day 2

Week 9, Day 2: This morning was FREE-ZING! I wore my long sleeve wicking shirt for the first time, and my skintight shortsleeve wicking shirt below it. I initially put on my Blue Dolphin swim team sweatpants, as well, but I soon discovered that the elastic in the waistband is shot (not surprising, considering they are 16 years old) and I switched to shorts so that I wouldn't have to keep pulling my pants up while running. The air was cold enough that I could see my breath, which kept fogging up my glasses, and the cold wind also stung my eyes and made it hard to see. From this, I have discovered that I do not particularly enjoy running in cold weather, and my respect for runners that do has grown. And, if anyone reading this is wondering what "cold" actually is, the temperature was about 45F - nowhere near the actual freezing temps I see a lot of other people posting about. I'm just a wuss, I guess.

On a positive note, this was my farthest run yet up Pinehurst - I actually made it to the entrance of Freedom Park, which is much closer to Forest Hill Road than I've ever before thought.

The Workout
: 5 minute warmup brisk walk, 30 minute run, 5 minute cooldown walk.

Coming up on Wednesday: Graduation!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Couch to 5k: Week 9, Day 1

Week 9, Day 1: Graduation week! Since all of this week's workout runs are the same, it kind of feels like I've already graduated by doing this morning's run and the rest of the week is Senior Week where I can slack off while waiting to be handed my diploma or something. Anyone have a wicking cap and gown I can borrow?

My run this morning was nice - through the park and then back again. When I got back home I noticed that my sportbrain had fallen off, but luckily the clip saved it from being lost and it seems it must have fallen off right at the very end, since it recorded the whole workout. A nice bonus was hearing Lance Armstrong congratulating me on "my longest run yet" courtesy of the Nike+ summary. When I got back I weighed myself and found that I gained .6 pounds, which I attribute to my eating a lot of french fries yesterday. They were zero trans fat, but still full of calories. Between that, and the apple pie the other week, I feel like I'm starting to slip back into my old habits. I'm going to really get back on the stick before I slip off entirely. I'm kind of worried that once I graduate C25K I'll lose some of my motivation. Hopefully, the "One Hour Runner" will help see me through.

Today's run marked my achieving the first checkpoint in my Route 66 roadtrip, as well - I have now passed through Joliet, IL. Funk's Grove, here I come!

The Workout: 5 minute warmup brisk walk, 30 minute run, and then a 5 minute cooldown walk. I did it!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Couch to 5k: Week 8, Day 3

Week 8, Day 3: Well, with the conclusion of this run I am now officially in graduation week. The final week of C25k is the same run for all three days, so when I complete my next run, I will have reached the end goal of C25k. The two runs that follow will just be reinforcing that goal. After I'm done, I plan to move to the "One Hour Runner" training program.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Weight Training

Today is a rest day, but I'm jonesing for tomorrow's run. Yesterday after work I stopped by Sports Authority and picked up a set of dumbbells so I can integrate some weight training into my exercise routine. I'd like to work on my biceps, abs and obliques, and pecs, primarily. Space is at a premium in my house, so I picked up a set of Bowflex 220's, which should do nicely: they combine a number of different weights all into one. You just spin the dial to choose how much weight you want, and when you pick it up the unselected weights stay in the holder. They were on sale, with an additional $50 mail-in rebate. Only now I can't find what I did with the receipt, and I need it in order to claim the rebate... drat!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Couch to 5k: Week 8, Day 2

Week 8, Day 2
, and I'm feeling great. Today was an early morning run up Pinehurst in the dark. I tried turning off my headlamp for a moment "for old time's sake" and I couldn't believe how dark it was! That headlamp is among the best running gear that I've purchased. That and my compression shirts: love those, even though I no longer really need them to contain a jiggly stomach anymore. When I got back I checked my e-mail and found a message from the event organizer of what will be my second 5k race; the 6th Annual Jon Smith Subs Race for the Arts, on May 12. I can't wait, nor can I believe that I've gone from eating cheeseburger bombs and cheesesteaks at Jon Smith Subs a few months ago, to being pretty-much-ready to run in a 5k race sponsored by them a few months from now.

Last night I had a business dinner I had to attend. I never particularly enjoy these things (I'm an introvert and are few things I loathe more than networking) but the food generally is pretty good. For the first time since I started my exercise and "eat healthy" plan, I went off-program: I had chicken francais and apple pie a la mode. An amazing thing occurred to me while I was eating: it wasn't that great. I feel like I faced temptation and, while I did give in (albeit reluctantly), I came out the victor because it caused me to realize that I don't really miss my old unhealthy lifestyle. Even though I gained a drop (only .2 pounds) since I last weighed myself, I'm still feeling great about my progress: I couldn't wear the pants I originally chose for myself this morning because without a belt they kept falling down around my ankles! With a belt, they looked really balloony. Hammer time!

The Workout: 5 minute brisk warmup walk, 28 minute run, and 9 minutes of cooldown walking. No time to ice my legs today.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Couch to 5k: Week 8, Day 1

Week 8, Day 1: A Sunday run through the park - twice! I doubled back at what I once would have considered to be the "home stretch," and so I got to go through the park twice, which was great. It also was nice to be able to have the time to ice my legs when I got back, rather than hurrying up to get everyone ready for school/work. I'm so close to graduating from C25k now I can smell it! My graduation should more-or-less coincide with my arrival at Joliet, IL - the first stop on the virtual Route 66 roadtrip. Only 9 more miles until I get there.

The Workout: 5 minute warmup brisk walk, 28 minute run, 10 minute cooldown.

Today I had 14,474 steps according to my pedometer, but for some reason only 7,611 of them "uploaded" to SportBrain. I was robbed! :-(

Friday, January 19, 2007

Couch to 5k: Week 7, Day 3

Week 7, Day 3: Today I started out just a few minutes later than normal (I started my warm-up at about 5:10, instead of 5:05). As it turns out, that 5 minutes is critical: all of the neighborhood sprinklers were going off and I got soaked while on the sidewalk! Wouldn't be so bad, except the sprinkler water around here smells very sulfurous. I used to LOVE running through sprinklers as a kid, but I could have done without the dousing this morning.

The actual run itself went well. I covered a little more ground than I usually do. I also had my first run-in with an unleashed dog just as I was arriving back home. Luckily, it was my neighbor's new dog, Hula, and her owner was nearby. She was a little growly, but I never really felt threatened at all. She's a sweet (big) puppy and I think she was mostly just confused by all my glowing/flashing safety stuff. I'd growl at me, too.

Tomorrow is my rest day, and then Sunday begins (holy cow!) Week 8. I can so clearly recall starting out and thinking "wow! Week 8!" when seeing people posting their updates on the Cool Running check-in thread. (Then again, that was only two months ago, so I'd be a little concerned if I couldn't remember....). My weight jumped up by a half a pound, but I'm not discouraged: after all, it is just a half a pound, and it could very well be added muscle.

I'm really happy with the way that the Roadtrip group has turned out. Everyone is very friendly and supportive, and it is exactly the sort of long-range motivational tool I was hoping it would turn out to be. According to my cumulative mileage stats on Roadtrip, I've gone 23.8 miles since my start in Chicago. I'm now just 13.2 miles away from Joliet.

The Workout: 5 minute warmup brisk walk, 25 minute run, and about a 9 minute cooldown walk.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Couch to 5k: Week 7, Day 2

Week 7, Day 2: This was an early morning run, up Pinehurst. I finished my cooldown walk with about 10 minutes to spare; just enough time to ice my legs for a few minutes and then go upstairs for Zoe's 6AM school wakeup. The weather today was perfect for running.

The Workout: Five minute warmup walk, 25 minute run, 9 minute cooldown walk.

Question: What do Laurence Fishburne, Samuel L. Jackson, Slobodan Milošević, and Kirsten Dunst all have in common?

Answer: Inexplicably, the answer is ME. I was looking at someone else's running blog yesterday and they had a link to the site, which has a supposed 'celebrity facial recognition' scanner. You can upload a photo of yourself and it will compare your facial features to those of various celebrities. I am a white male in my 30's. I think their software needs some more work. Amusingly enough, though, I kind of DO see some vague similarities to Kirsten Dunst, at least in the photo that I used for comparison.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Couch to 5k: Week 7, Day 1

Week 7, Day 1: A nice weekend run through the park. The park was pretty dirty this morning: lots of overflowing trash cans and litter everywhere. People are slobs. Must have been a lot of weekend partying.

I'm feeling pretty good, and I'm glad that this week there is a return to consistency - the three workouts this week are all the same once again. I'm now running 2.5 miles nonstop, so I'm getting really close to my 5k goal (5k being 3.1 miles).

The Workout: Five minute warmup walk, followed by 25 minutes of running, ending with a 8 minute cooldown walk.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Couch to 5k: Week 6, Day 3

Week 6, Day 3: 25 minute run today! A new PR for me and, looking at my pacing on the sportbrain chart I seem to have kept a pretty consistent tempo throughout. Looking ahead on the C25k schedule I see that I'm done with intervals, so this feels like a mini-graduation of sorts.

This was a weekend run, so I was able to go through the park. I left as soon as the sun came up. I expanded my route, though, and made it more circuitous in order to account for the extra distance I knew I'd be covering today.

The Workout: 5 minute warmup walk, 25 minutes of running nonstop, and then a nine-minute cooldown walk.

Last night we watched "Running on the Sun." I recommend it highly. It's a documentary about the Badwater 135-mile ultra marathon that takes place each year. It tracks the progress of the 40 runners as they go through a course that leads them through Death Valley, with a starting elevation of almost 300 feet below sea level and a maximum elevation on the route of about 8,000 feet above, all through temperatures that get as high as 120F. It kind of put my 25 minute run in perspective. I'd never want to do something like that, but I admire them for their superhuman feat (feet?).

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Couch to 5k: Week 6, Day 2

Week 6, Day 2 of C25k - This was a pretty unremarkable run, except for the fact that apparently I've now been running long enough that I can call a run "unremarkable." The cold front seems to have passed, and apart from the fact that I felt like I was racing against the clock to make it back home in time to wake up the girls, everything went smoothly this morning. It's 8:30 AM as I write this, and I already have 7,400 steps in for the day. Oh, and I'm down another half a pound.

The Workout:

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
Followed by a 7 minute cooldown walk.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Couch to 5k: Week 6, Day 1

Week 6, Day 1: For some reason, I felt more challenged by today's interval run/walk than I did at the W5D3 20-minute nonstop run. Maybe because there's a cold front today, and it was windy, so it took a little longer to get warmed up? In any event, I did it and I'm looking forward to Thursday's run. Also, my weight is at a new low today: 182.6, compared to my starting weight of 197. It's interesting (for me, at least) to compare the SportBrain pedometer graph, versus the Nike+ graph of the same run.

The Workout:

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Concluding with a 5 minute cooldown walk.

I only had about 10 minutes to spare when I got home before I had to wake the girls up to get ready for their first day back at school following winter break. I used that time to ice my legs.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Couch to 5k: Week 5, Day 3

Week 5, Day 3: Holy Cannoli, Fatman!! I ran 20 minutes straight, without stopping!

Today was a park run, since it was the weekend. I had been dreading Week 5, Day 3, since it consists of one monster 20 minute long uninterrupted run, but I found myself able to do it with little more difficulty than normal. My workout consisted of a five minute warmup walk, the 20 minute run, and then about 8 minutes of cooldown walking.

It also marks my second day "on the road" for my virtual roadtrip. I'm still quite a ways from leaving the Chicago city limits, and I'm in the back of the pack, but my spirits are high and I'm enjoying the trip.

In the afternoon, we headed to Ft. Lauderdale for the Las Olas Art Festival, which seemed to be much more crowded than in previous years. I thought the extra walking would mean extra soreness, but it turns out it wasn't too bad. I wound up with about 14,000 steps for the day (including my run, which was about 5,000 by itself).

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Rest Day

Today is a rest day, but I can't wait for my run tomorrow - it's the 20 minute straight run, and I'm going to be able to go the park route, since it falls on a Sunday.

I'm starting to see a little muscle definition in my calves, now - pretty exciting. Here's a picture of what it doesn't look like:

At least not yet...