Monthly Archives: January 2012

Tuesday 1/31/12

Today was an exciting day. My first time doing speed work.

Woke at 4:00am
Ran with the team a 2 mile warm up run at around 8 ppm
Did dynamic stretching
Track work consisted of two sets of 800k at 10k pace, 600k at 10k pace, and 400k at 5k pace. The were 200k jog breaks between each distance. We were supposed to do three to six sets of these but I decided since this was my first time to take it easy. Glad I did. It felt great, but it was hard at the end. Then on the second set it started out easy but then got really hard. I ran with Denny and it was not easy to keep up with him!

Went to work.

Came home and ran a fast 2 miles at about 7:57 ppm. to help break in the new orthotics. I just can’t tell if I am ready to use them full time in my training or not. I’m planning in running in them for three miles tomorrow and seeing how things feel. Thursday is supposed to be a tempo run and I just don’t want to over due my mileage too soon with the new footbed!

A Whole New World!

Saturday morning seems to have sparked an already lit fire in me. I joined MarathonFest and met up with a group of runners in Apopka, Fl for hill training. We ran 6.5 miles (turned out to be about 7) at around 10:38 pace. Our group leader is Wendy. She is really nice, full of energy, and very inspirational. Then there is Mike, Nichole, and Denny. Not quite sure how to spell their names (except for Mike). Denny is training for his second Boston Marathon and is coming off of being injured, which is why he was running with our group, and Nichole is working her way to the Rock n’ Roll in Nashville.

I found hill training to be a lot of fun! I enjoyed our pace and the great conversations from the group. They had only met once prior to this run so everyone is still getting to know everyone and it is a really nice atmosphere. I liked going up the hills far more than going down the hills. I think I might be missing something about the going down part and may need to find out if I am doing it the right way.

Our group is meeting again on Tuesday for a 10 mile run on the Cady Way Trail. I think that we are going to do a tempo run but not really sure yet.

One of the first questions I was asked was what was the marathon I was training for currently to which I did not have a reply except for that I wanted to do two more before the year was out. They all kind of giggled and mentioned another runner who trained for a whole year before being able to commit to a run!  Well. I have been doing a whole lot of searching and planning since that run Saturday morning (yes….all what 24 hours…) and I think I have a bit of a draft of where I see the rest of the year going. I have a few friends who have suggested that the Nashville Rock n’ Roll marathon is a nice one and that also Chicago and NY would too be nice marathons. One even suggested Boston! (I told them that I am not fast enough for that!)

So here is my current draft plan: Nashville’s Rock N’ Roll Full on April 28 and then the Space Coast Full on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Another race that I am considering as part of my training for Nashville would include running with my friend Bill in the Five Points of Life Half Marathon in Gainesville, FL.

I get nervous that I am biting off more than I can chew…but I just don’t know. I feel great. These sound like accomplishable goals….I just feel like I need reassurance from somewhere that something like what I am planning is OK.

On another note. I am going to the track store and looking at watches. I like the Garmin 610 and the Nike+ and would like to look at both. I don’t really know which I would pick or which is better. I have been doing a bit of research on both. I like the looks of the Nike…but I like the name of Garmin and the features it seems to come with over the Nike. I also like the display that the Nike uses as it looks much easier to look at at a quick glance. But I imagine if you know your watch well enough that you can find what you need quickly at a glance anyway.

A New Chapter

Today was disappointing but ultimately exciting!

I had contacted Track Shack about joining the already in progress Marathonfest to help me get ready for my next step in distance training. I never heard from anyone back!  So today I called the store and got to someone who started screening me. I gave them many answers to questions about my weekly millage and also fitness level. I explained to them, I think the right way, that I had just finished my first marathon. To my dismay they suggested that marathonfest was over my head and that perhaps I should look to doing something a little less strenuous to stay injury free and build a good base. I agreed but was also a bit disappointed.

Come to find out the same person whom I contacted for marathon fest was also the contact person for five and dime training. I contacted her and explained all that I had been through and gave just a bit of information about my running experiences. She immediately got back with me saying that they are going for  a 6.5 mile run on Saturday and I was more than welcome to join in marathonfest if I was up to it!  THIS IS EXCITING. I feel like a whole new world is about to open up for me and my enjoyment of running.

I went for an easy 3 mile run (turns out that my pace was much faster than usual, 8:27!). I did this run from where I work (my plan B from my last post). It was nice getting to run in my Beasts that had been out of town for a whole week getting orthotics installed.

Tomorrow will be day 3 of my orthotics and I will have worked up to wearing them for 6 hours. The podiatrist wants me to take it easy breaking in my orthotics and getting my feet used to them. I am not allowed to wear them all day and defiantly not run in them yet. But he did say that I will need to start running a little at a time and to start weening myself off my old spencos.

…this is getting exciting!


Today was a bit exciting.

While at a doctor’s appointment today I was referred to as a “marathoner” by the doctor. I have never been referred to as such and it really stuck out in my mind…marathoner…!  WOW.

I have only run one marathon, I know, but my plan is, again, to run three this year. I made a call today to find out about marathonfest training and am waiting on hearing back about a late sign-up. I am currently washing my running clothes to take to work with me tomorrow so i can leave from work and go running with the group if I get approved. Apparently they have both 5 am and 6 pm runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I am very excited about this.  If I do not hear from them I will most likely stay at work a little late and then go for a run over on that side of town. I have never run around where I work and thought it would be a nice change of pace. Im thinking 5 to 3 miles depending on which option is going to be available.

Another exciting thing happened today….my shoes came in! Now I can start getting used to the new orthotics and I can use my shoes with my old inserts to start running again!  WHOOT!!!

My workout today consisted of NOTHING. My legs are toast! Monday, strength training, Tuesday 20 mile bike….OUCH! I tried to roll out my legs…lets just say it was extremely painful and I was very happy that my fiancee was not around to film (she likes to film me rolling my legs because apparently I make crazy sounds).

Tuesday 1/24/12


Came home and did animal chores….then the fun started.

Went on a 20 mile bike ride. I have been doing 10 miles at around 15 mph and tonight thought it would be nice to do an easy long 20. Turns out that I averaged 14 mph!

I had to ride tonight in regular shorts as opposed to my compression shorts. Once you get used to riding (or running or working out for that matter) in compression shorts where everything stays in one place it is not fun to go without. My shorts were wet from swimming in them the previous day and me not taking care of getting them dry.

My shoes came in today but the called the house instead of my cell so I have to try to get them tomorrow if I can.

I am also considering taking the leap and joining a run training group called marathonfest that is put on by a local run shop here in Orlando called Track Shack.

I am excited about doing this and hopefully getting better at everything about running.

Finally, this is day two of me choosing to cut out sugar from my diet. I am planning on not eating or drinking anything that is sugared unnaturally. For example soda, popsicles, candy…etc.  Foods that are cooked with sugar as a normally added ingredient (not cake….) I will still eat. Ill tell you ….this is really hard!  The craving that I am having for sugar is unreal! I never knew it would be like this.  There is like this absence from my mouth that could only be filled with sugar. We will see how long this lasts.

Monday 1/23/12

I am finding it a bit hard to come up with titles for my posts…

Today was amazing! First, Kris is out of town….which is not is lonely..but I digress, I worked (needless to say), then I came home with basically one goal: to go to the YMCA and do some strength training and aqua jogging.  There were many obstacles in my way.

I came home from work and then had to complete all of the animal chores. We have four cats and a dog. One of our cats is blind and deaf and all of our cats require medications (fun!). Then after the chores I had to bag six piles of leaves that Kris had raked up on Sunday. This task was done around 6:30 pm in the dark.  NOT FUN.  Then I ate, had a chicken sandwich. And finally off to the YMCA!

This was my first time at this Y and my first time strength training as a runner. The free weight area was VERY small at being that it was 7:30 at night it was PACKED with people. My exercises included deadlifts, dumbbell step-ups, single-leg romanian deadlifts (or a variation of that), single-leg press, two-legged press, and some core work on my lower back. I took it a bit easy on the weight just to get back into strength training. My goal is to increase the weight to develop more muscle to use for running long distances and eventually at a faster pace.

Aqua jogging was next. Little did I know that this pool only got as deep at 4.5′. It is not easy to run in a pool that shallow!  This did not go well and eventually I aborted my run and tried a few laps in the pool….I don’t have eye goggles so I also aborted that and just hung on to the side for a while and kicked my legs.

Hoping that my shoes come in tomorrow and I can get back on the ol’ road! I am really wanting a run!

The Rest of the Week

While I feel as if most of this week was a loss, because of lack of running, I have to think that this time off will hopefully result in a stronger me.

Thursday resulted in no aqua jogging but instead a late night 10 mile cycling trek. While this was disappointing it felt great once I was on the bike and almost done. My bike route is becoming a bit boring so I need to probably start finding something  bit more interesting. I did not have to dodge cars this time, but I did almost take a face plant because of a curb. I think I need a lamp. One thing I really like about the route though is the remoteness of it. There is about a 3 mile stretch that is on a four lane highway with sidewalks (just sitting there waiting for development) that is really dark (no street lights) and desolate.

On another note, my bike is making crazy weird sounds when I peddle and also when I punch it it the gears slip. I called a place close by for some work and they are only available during the week.  ARG! Going to have to creatively plan on how to get it into the shop for adjustments.

Friday I went to work, just a teacher work day (no students), got all my work done early so I got to go to the YMCA and do 30 minutes of aqua jogging. I chose to try 30:30 second intervals. It started out hard but then got a bit easier. My goal is to work up to 1:1 intervals. I still seem to get a weird swelling in my left knee.  I don’t really understand what it is and I don’t even know where to start to figure out who to see for something like this.

Today and tomorrow….dont know yet what I am going to do.  Probably cycle today and aqua jog tomorrow.  Tuesday I am supposed to get my shoes back (fingers crossed!).  Then I will get back into running with my current insert and walk for that week with my new custom insert.

GOAL THIS YEAR: 3 Marathons

1: Disney Marathon

2: ?

3: ?

Best Laid Plans…

This is the first of two weeks off running. I am not running because of waiting for my new shoes come in (with custom orthotics). In the interim my plan is this: Starting Tuesday (yesterday) cycling 10 miles with sprints mixed in with a fast pace every other day. Then on the opposite days water jogging for 30 minutes using 20/20 second intervals.

The title of this post purposefully has the ellipsis. Today the water jogging did not happen. I feel so horrible when I can not get out…I am getting edgy and irritable.  Not being able to run on a regular basis has become very painful. Cycling and water jogging helps just keep off the edge. Now I feel as if I have to play catch up! Don’t know how that is going to go down. Why did it not happen as planned…work and life happened.

I will most likely go with the aqua jogging tomorrow and then perhaps again on Friday (just because I really like doing it!). If you are not familiar with water jogging there are some great videos on YouTube. This video is one that I watched when I first started. It is one of the most amazing no impact workouts.  The first time I did it my legs were extremely tired to the point I almost could not walk on them because of fatigue. When I got fitted for my aqua jogger vest the folks at Fleet Feet took one look at me and gave me the one with maximum float (they said I had no fat and would sink to the bottom…haha).  The vest is to help with keeping proper form for newbies….which I am.

A Day of New Things and Reflections

Today I went to the podiatrist to get fitted for custom orthotics. I am excited and scared about this. I have read many posts on blogs about the good and bad of orthotics. My podiatrist is himself a distance runner though and I trust his suggestion, after all he is the podiatrist and should know a little about feet.

As I sat on the bench with my feet off the floor he proceeded to take castings of my feet. Mind you I think I have very weird feet. They are very flat and I have very crooked toes. I have never had a good time finding shoes that were comfortable. At the conclusion of the casting he asked where the pair of shoes were that were going to be sent with them for the fitting. I had not known about this (that I had to bring another pair of shoes that fit with me). I now

had to go home and come back with my shoes…ah which shoes to bring?! The doctor said he just needed to be shoes that fit me well and not necessarily my current running shoe. But then if I didn’t bring my current trusted pair would I not get the right fit? Decisions decisions!


I went home and took my Brooks Beasts on a last tempo run before sending them off for fitting. I figured if these are my trusted shoe and got me through the marathon then they are the ones I should send.

I like tempo runs as the music tends to distract me from thinking about every part of my body. Sometimes I obsess about my knees or my feet and think myself into injures. Upon my quest for running my first marathon I had a “contusion” on the outside of my left foot. I had micro tears on both achilles. And to top it all of I think (I am still wondering what is going on here) I am experiencing IT band issues. I will delve into this in another post I am sure….as it is still lingering.

I packed up my beasts and took them in to the podiatrist office….it was not easy…and left them there. I did pay the extra money to have the process expedited. I figure the sooner I get the shoes and orthotics back the quicker I can start the adjustment period and get back into where I am in my fitness. As it stands the doctor told me that I will not be able to run in the orthotic for a week when i get them back. Wish me luck! I hope they work for my funky feet and weird structure!

And So It Begins…

One week ago today I ran my first Marathon. I ran the 2012 Disney Marathon with my future wife. It was one of the best experiences I have had to this point in my life.

This amazing experience is why I am starting this journal. My goal in August when she and I began training for Disney was to finish the marathon. Now that that goal has been met I am slowly formulating a new goal. I know it is going to take patience and time, but I want to run ultra-marathons.

I have never considered myself an athlete by any stretch of the word. I played basketball growing up and also golf. I was very involved with music (hence becoming a music teacher) and therefore did not have time to be involved with sports.

Kris, my future wife, had a goal to run the Disney Marathon at the conclusion of her residency in internal veterinary medicine and also as part of her “bucket list.” I thought it would be nice to show my support for her and participate. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

All of this began very grueling for me. Our runs started as short three milers and intervening those by running for 3 minutes and then walking for 2. She was more in shape than I was and thankfully patient as I worked up my physical conditioning.

The day it all clicked for me was when a friend of mine invited me on a run with him. He was working on the couch to 5K program on his phone. He was running a full 3 miles without stop.

Going on a run….be right back…

Ok, so where was I…

My friend and I went on our 3 mile run. His pace was such that we could hold a conversation. Before I knew it we were done! I had run 3 miles without stopping! From then on I was inspired that I was in fact able to run!

That next weekend I came home to the first of our distance runs (7 miles). I was determined to run this distance without stopping! I convinced Kris that we could do it and off we went. It was very difficult but we did achieve the 7 mile run without stopping. Looking back, it was probably not what we should have done for our first time at distance, we should probably had intervaled the run, but it is what it was. We were both very tired after the run and I had felt extremely dizzy for the last mile of the run.

After this initial distance run we both agreed that we would follow the Jeff Galloway method more closely for training for our marathon in January.

I don’t know where this journal will take me or how much I will post. I am shooting for posting something once a week. Feel free to follow me along this crazy journey called life and with my new found addiction. My next post will probably be more about the starts of all this and my journey to the finish of my first marathon and also my quest for the next race.